Sunday, June 13, 2021


                  KEY TO REVIVAL
                    HOLY SPIRIT'S FIRE

                                              By Pastor Max Solbrekken, D.D.
 "Oh that Thou would Rend the heavens, that Thou would Come Down, that the mountains would flow down at Thy presence. As when the melting FIRE burns, the fire causes the waters to BOIL, to make Thy NAME known to Thine adversaries that the nations may tremble at Thy presence." (Isaiah 64: 1)

 In his powerful appeal to Almighty God for help in bringing Israel back to a place of repentance and righteousness, Prophet Isaiah used words like “the melting FIRE burns” and “the FIRE causes the water to boil”.

Isaiah was zealous for His Lord and wanted the godless nations to give glory to the Almighty. A Revival of Righteousness among the Hebrews would also have a godly, moralizing effect on the pagan nations!

He would have known of ELIJAH the great prophet who brought Israel back to the worship of the Jehovah. He had challenged the prophets of Baal and the prophets of the Grove to a showdown on Mount Carmel. The great Prophet stated: “The God who answers by fire; Let Him be God.” Israel would then KNOW the true and Living God!

Elijah prayed: “Hear me, O Lord, hear me, that this people may know that Thou art the Lord God, and that Thou hast turned their heart back again. Then the FIRE of the Lord fell, and consumed the burnt sacrifice, and the wood, and the stones, and the dust, and licked up the water that was in the trench.

“And when all the people saw it, they fell on their faces: and they said, The LORD He is the God; the LORD He is the God.” (1 Kings 18:37-39)

DON’T PUT OUT THE SPIRIT’S FIRE!

The Holy Bible states: “Our God is a consuming fire.” (Heb.12: 29) Wherever He is, there is always Fire! What happened on Mount Carmel was expected. God always backed up His prophets who spoke the truth in His Name. And He often used FIRE to demonstrate His power and bring about His will on earth!

ST. PAUL admonished the Church: “Quench not the Spirit.” (1 Thess. 5: 19). He was saying, “Don’t put out the Spirit’s FIRE” or “Don’t extinguish the Spirit’s FLAME.”

He knew the tendency of human carnality and pride, in wanting to do everything ourselves, to be self-sufficient! Fire can burn itself out if not stoked and fed with oxygen. We must guard the fire in our spirits, by staying full of the Holy Ghost!

 HOWELL HARRIS, (1714-1773) preached in large open air meeting across Wales. In two years He walked 2500 miles between crusades. In twenty years he had reached Wales. He stated: “A fire was kindled in my soul and I was clothed in power…I could have spoken to the king were he within my reach…such power and such authority did I feel in my soul…”

 It was said, the words flowed scorching hot from the preacher’s heart. He would go on thus, pouring out old things and new for 2, 3, and even 4 hours. Under the power of the Holy Spirit, hearts were broken and it was not uncommon for people to come under such conviction that they would cry aloud to God for mercy while he preached. Twenty thousand people attended his funeral.

 WILLAM BOOTH and his wife Catherine founded the Salvation Army in 1865. They chose as their slogan, ‘Blood and Fire’, referring to Jesus Christ’s BLOOD shed for the remission of sins and the Fire referring to the FIRE of the Holy Spirit.” He stated: “The tendency of fire is to go out; watch the fire on the altar of your heart. Anyone who has tended a fireplace knows that it needs to be stirred up occasionally.”

 In 1892, William Booth wrote the well-known hymn, ‘SEND THE FIRE’. It is filled with Gospel Truth, Biblical Doctrine and Great Commission Admonition. You can sense the presence of God by reading the words and the Holy Spirit fire burns when it is sung!

SEND THE FIRE

Thou Christ of burning, cleansing flame,
Send the fire, send the fire, send the fire!
Thy blood-bought gift today we claim,
Send the fire, send the fire, send the fire!
Look down and see this waiting host,
Give us the promised Holy Ghost;
We want another Pentecost,
Send the fire, send the fire, send the fire!
God of Elijah, hear our cry:
Send the fire, send the fire, send the fire!
To make us fit to live or die,
Send the fire, send the fire, send the fire!
To burn up every trace of sin,
To bring the light and glory in,
The revolution now begin,
Send the fire, send the fire, send the fire!
’Tis fire we want, for fire we plead,
Send the fire, send the fire, send the fire!
The fire will meet our every need,
Send the fire, send the fire, send the fire!
For strength to ever do the right,
For grace to conquer in the fight,
For pow’r to walk the world in white,
Send the fire, send the fire, send the fire!
To make our weak hearts strong and brave,
Send the fire, send the fire, send the fire!
To live a dying world to save,
Send the fire, send the fire, send the fire!
Oh, see us on Thy altar lay
Our lives, our all, this very day;
To crown the off’ring now we pray,
Send the fire, send the fire, send the fire!

 The one thing we must NOT do, is rely on our own wisdom and strength! We must never think that we can do the work of God ourselves, without relying totally on the Holy Spirit! The great Apostle realized that the Blessed Holy Spirit can be easily grieved (Eph.4: 30, 31) and marginalized. That is a major error on the part of the Church today!

GOD MOVED IN NEWFOUNDLAND!

 In 1968, our Crusades with the Pentecostal Assemblies of Newfoundland shook the Central district, as thousands attended nightly for about a month. During a live interview over Newfoundland’s Radio Network, the interviewer became convicted by HOLY SPIRIT and asked if I would take the remaining ten minutes to answer the question: “What is the greatest mistake the Church has made in 2,000 years?”

I answered: “The greatest mistake the Church has committed in its nearly 2,000 year history is two-fold: Number one: They have taken the leadership of the Church out of the hands of the HOLY SPIRIT and placed it in the hands of mere mortals, and Number two: They have rejected the Word of God, the Holy Bible, which He (the Holy Spirit) has anointed.”

 After I finished, I invited all the listeners to pray the Sinner’s Prayer with me. As we were walking together toward the main entrance, the Manager and an Associate came walking quickly toward me. I wondered if they were going to ‘ball me out’, for making their head commentator and interviewer break down on the air.

 But, NO! They said: “All the lines are jammed. Seventy thousand people have been listening. Our Television Station is across the street. Please, do the same thing over there. They are waiting for you now!”

The two most important things the Church needs today is the Power of God and the Fire of God! Jesus Christ, the Head of the Church promised: “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 Judæa, and in Samaria, and unto the uttermost part of the earth.” (Acts 1:8)

 And JOHN THE BAPTIST stated: “I indeed baptize you with water; but one mightier than I cometh, the latchet of whose shoes I am not worthy to unloose: He shall baptize you with the Holy Ghost and with FIRE.” (Luke 3:16).

 He was speaking about JESUS, the Baptizer in the Holy Ghost and fire! He would accomplish two great things: Shed His holy Blood on the Cross for the sins of the world, and Baptize His Church with the Holy Spirit and Fire!

 When the Jews heard him utter those words, they knew that something special was about to happen in the spiritual life of their nation. When God chose Israel through which He would send the Messiah, He called ABRAHAM to be the Father of the nation. The Lord promised him a son even though Sarah was barren. After about twenty – five years the miracle happened and Isaac was born.

GOD CALLS ABRAHAM BY FIRE!

 The Holy Record states: “And it came to pass, that, when the sun went down, and it was dark, behold a smoking furnace, and a BURNING LAMP that passed between those pieces. In the same day the Lord made a covenant with Abram, saying: Unto thy seed have I given this land, from the river of Egypt unto the great river, the river Euphrates.” (Gen.15: 17, 18)

The HOLY SPIRIT was present in the FIRE that awesome night as the Almighty revealed to Abram His supernatural power. Later, God changed Abram’s name to Abraham and confirmed the everlasting covenant He was making with the Nation of Israel! He had confirmed the COVENANT with Blood, symbolized by circumcision of all males and through the Holy Spirit by the presence of the coals of FIRE.

The Bible says: “As it is written, I have made thee a Father of many nations, before Him whom he believed, even God, who quickens the dead, and calls those things which be not as though they were.

 “Who against hope believed in hope, that he might become the Father of many nations, according to that which was spoken: So shall thy seed be. And being not weak in faith, he considered not his own body now dead, when he was about a HUNDRED years old, neither yet the DEADNESS of Sarah’s womb:

 “He staggered not at the PROMISE of God through unbelief; but was strong in faith, giving glory to God; and being fully persuaded that what He had promised, He was able also to perform. And therefore, it was imputed unto him for righteousness.” (Rom.4:17-22)

GOD CALLS MOSES BY FIRE

After the Hebrews had been in Egypt for four hundred years, God brought them into a land flowing with milk and honey as He had promised Abraham. He called His chosen leader by FIRE. Through the providence of God, Moses had survived the Egyptian genocide against Hebrew male babies, and was even adopted by Pharaoh’s daughter.

 When Moses was "come to years", he killed an Egyptian who was abusing a Hebrew slave. Fearing retribution from Pharaoh, he fled to the land of Midian where he became a shepherd. After forty years in the desert, Moses was ready to lead the children of Israel to the Promised Land. God would fulfill His promise to Abraham!

 The Bible says: “Now Moses kept the flock of Jethro his father-in-law, the priest of Midian: and he led the flock to the backside of the desert, and came to the mountain of God, even to Horeb and the Angel of the Lord appeared unto Him in a FLAME of FIRE out of the midst of a bush: and he looked, and, behold, the bush burned with fire, and the bush was not consumed.

“And Moses said, I will now turn aside, and see this great sight, why the bush is not burnt. And when the Lord saw that he turned aside to see, God called unto him out of the midst of the bush, and said MOSES, MOSES. And he said: Here I am. And He said, Draw not nigh hither: put off thy shoes from off thy feet, for the place where thou standest is holy ground.

 “Moreover He said, I am the God of thy father, the God of Abraham, and the God of
 Isaac, and the God of Jacob. And Moses hid his face; for he was afraid to look upon God. And the Lord said, I have surely seen the affliction of My people which are in Egypt, and have heard their cry by reason of their taskmasters; for I know their sorrows;

 “And I am COME DOWN to deliver them out of the hands of the Egyptians, and to bring them up out of that land unto a good and a large, unto a land flowing with milk and honey…” (Ex.3:1-8). The Angel of the Lord was none other than God the Son, in a Theophany - God the Son appearing as the ‘Angel of the Covenant’!

 God said that He had SEEN the affliction of His people, He had HEARD their cries for help and He KNEW their sorrows. He was going to DELIVER His people from Egyptian bondage and He was commissioning Moses, the adopted son of Pharaoh's daughter, to LIBERATE them and lead them into the Promised Land flowing with milk and honey!

The Lord had prepared His man! MOSES had spent forty years tending sheep. He was prepared to lead a rebellious nation of slaves for another forty years through the wilderness. After hearing the VOICE of GOD and seeing the burning BUSH of FIRE, his life was changed and he became the Great Lawgiver under God, giving Israel and the world the 'Ten Commandments', from which came the British Common Law used by all civilized, democratic nations.

 Unfortunately, out of agitation with the Hebrews he made a colossal mistake by striking the ROCK twice instead of only speaking to it. God was angry with Moses and barred him from entering the Promised Land. The Rock was a type of Christ! (Nu. 20: 10-12; 1Cor.10: 4). His DEATH was final. He does not need to be struck again!

 After ten powerful plagues against the ten gods of Egypt, Moses led the Children of Israel out of Egyptian slavery "with a high hand", the pillar of cloud by day and the pillar of FIRE by night. The Holy Spirit was leading them and protecting them!

"And the Lord went before them by day in a pillar of cloud, to lead them the way; by night in a pillar of FIRE, to give them light; to go by day and night: He took not away the pillar of the cloud by day, nor the pillar of FIRE by night, from before the people." (Ex.13: 21, 22)

GOD CALLS SOLOMON BY FIRE!

Although Elijah is called 'The Fire Prophet', God always came down in FIRE when sacrifices were made in His name. Going back to Cain and Abel's sacrifices at the Gate of the Garden of Eden, we read: "The Lord had respect unto Abel and his offering, but unto Cain and his offering, He had not respect". (Gen.4: 3-5)

 Why did the Lord accept Abel's offering but not Cain's offering? When Adam and Eve sinned, God immediately instituted the sacrificial system. He killed an innocent animal which would be their substitute. The blood would atone for their sins and the skin would clothe them.

 How did Cain know that God was not pleased with his sacrifice of "the fruit of the ground"? The HOLY FIRE that burned up Abel's sacrifice did NOT consume Cain's bloodless sacrifice! Whenever God was pleased with a sacrifice the FIRE always fell!

  When SOLOMON dedicated the temple, he rehearsed before Israel the history of God's dealings with his father David and with His people. Solomon prayed an awesome and powerful prayer unto Almighty God (2 Chron.6: 14-42)

 Then the FIRE fell, as was expected. Here is the Holy Record on this momentous event: "Now when Solomon had made an end of praying, the FIRE came down from Heaven and consumed the burnt offering and the sacrifices; and the GLORY of the Lord filled the house. And the priests could not enter into the House of the Lord, because the glory of the Lord had filled the Lord's house.

 "And when the children of Israel saw how the FIRE came down , and the GLORY of the Lord upon the house, they bowed themselves with their faces to the ground upon the pavement, and worshipped, and praised the Lord, saying, For He is good: for His mercy endureth forever." (2 Chron.7: 1-3)

Almighty God said: "If I shut up heaven that there be no rain, or if I command the locusts to devour the land, or if I send pestilences among My people; If My people, which are called by My name, shall HUMBLE themselves, and PRAY, and SEEK My face, and TURN from their wicked ways; Then will I HEAR from Heaven, and FORGIVE their sin, and will heal their land." (2 Chron.7: 13, 14)

GOD CALLS ISAIAH BY FIRE!

      Isaiah was about eighteen years old when King Uzziah died. He went into the temple to seek God, not knowing what would happen to his nation. It was then that the Holy Spirit showed up. The Bible records:

"In the year that King Uzziah died I saw also the Lord sitting upon a throne, high and lifted up, and His train filled the temple. Above it stood the seraphims; each one had six wings; with twain he covered his face, and with twain he covered his feet, and with twain he did fly."

What an experience this man had, as he actually saw God the Son, in all in His glory. He saw The LORD sitting upon a throne. He saw the seraphims which covered their faces and feet in God's presence and heard them cry, Holy is the Lord!

"And one cried unto another, and said, HOLY, HOLY, HOLY is the Lord of Hosts: the whole earth is full of His glory. And the posts of the door moved at the voice of Him that cried, and the house was filled with smoke.

 “Then said I, Woe is me! For I am UNDONE; because I am a man of unclean lips, and I live in the midst of a people of unclean lips: for mine eyes have seen the King, the Lord of hosts."

God's holiness made Isaiah cry out: "I am a sinner. I am undone. I live among a sinful and unclean people, because my eyes have looked upon the thrice holy God!" In the presence of Almighty God, the prophet felt his nothingness and his weakness and his sinfulness. He cried out for mercy! Oh, how we must reverence Almighty God.

"Then flew one of the seraphims unto me, having A LIVE COAL in his hand, which he had taken with the tongs from off the altar: and he laid it on my mouth, and said, Lo, this hath touched thy lips; and thine iniquity is taken away, and thy SIN PURGED. Also I heard the voice of the Lord, saying, Whom shall I send, and Who will go for us? Then said I, Here am I, send me." (Is.6: 1-8)

The Holy Spirit was in the FIRE that touched the prophet's lips! When the LIVE COAL from the holy altar touched the young man's lips, he received the assurance that his sins were gone. And immediately, he heard the Voice of the Lord calling him into service for Him!

The Book of Isaiah is called 'The Gospel of the Old Testament' and every major doctrine of Christ is found in that book! They include the virgin birth of Christ (7:14); Names of Deity given to Christ (9:6); the Spirits of God resting upon Him (11:1,2); Satan's defeat by Christ (14: 12-17); Day of resurrection and judgment (26: 19-21); and the Baptism of the Holy Spirit (28: 11,12).

THE PROMISE OF THE FATHER!


"Then said Jesus to them again, Peace be unto you: as My Father hath sent Me, even so send I you. And when He had said this, He breathed on them, and said unto them, Receive ye the Holy Ghost." (John 20: 21,22)

"But when the COMFORTER is come, Whom I will send unto you from the Father, even the Spirit of Truth which proceeds from the Father He shall testify of Me. Nevertheless I tell you the Truth; It is expedient that I go away: for if I go not away, the Comforter will not come unto you; but if I depart, I will send Him unto you

"But when HE IS COME, He will reprove the world of sin, and of righteousness and of judgment: Of sin because they believe not on Me; Of righteousness, because I go unto My Father, and ye see Me no more; Of judgment because the prince of the world (Satan) is judged.

 Howbeit when He, the SPIRIT OF TRUTH, is come, He will guide you into all truth; for He shall not speak of Himself; but whatsoever He shall hear that shall He speak: and He will show you things to come.

 “He shall glorify Me: for He shall receive of Mine and, and show it unto you. All that the Father hath are Mine, therefore said I, that He shall take of Mine, and shall show it unto you." (John 14: 26; 15: 26; 16: 7-11, 13-15)

HOLY SPIRIT FIRE FALLS!

 The Holy BIBLE records the descent of the Holy Spirit on the Day of Pentecost, ten days after the ascension of our Lord and fifty days after Christ's resurrection from the dead. St. Luke writes:

 "To whom also He showed Himself alive after His passion by many infallible proofs, being seen of them forty days, and speaking of the things pertaining to the Kingdom of God: And, being assembled together with them, commanded them that they should not depart from Jerusalem, but wait for the Promise of the Father, which, saith He, ye have heard of Me.

 "For John truly baptized with water; but ye shall be BAPTIZED with the Holy Ghost not many days hence. 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 parts of the earth…" (Acts 1: 3-5, 8)

 More than five hundred men saw Christ at one time in Galilee after His resurrection from the dead (1 Cor.15: 6) and I'm sure that all 500 would have heard His command to tarry in Jerusalem and WAIT for the Promise of the Father, the Blessed Holy Spirit, to empower them for His service!

The QUESTION is, "WHY did they not all wait for the Blessed Holy Spirit's arrival with His great power? And is this a pattern that we see in the Christian Community of Believers today, with many not waiting in His presence until they are filled with the Holy Spirit? Is it laziness, a lack of desire for God or plain and simple ignorance on the part of Pastors who have come out of Bible College or Seminary like so many sausages out of Schneider's Meat Packing Plant?”

 Where were the 380 who had been commanded to WAIT for the 'Promise of the Father'? Apparently, they were too busy or afraid or felt they were good enough and didn't need this 'noisy, shouting, tongues-talking religion'. Think of what they missed: The blessed Holy Spirit coming into them with His love, mercy, grace, and power!

The Bible states: "And when they were come in, they went up into an upper room, where abode both Peter, and James, and John, and Andrew, Philip and Thomas, Bartholomew, and Mathew, James the son of Alphaeus, and Simon Zelotes and Judas the brother of James.

"These all continued with one accord in PRAYER and SUPPLICATION, with the women, and Mary, the mother of Jesus, and with His brethren...the number of names were about an hundred and twenty." (Acts 1: 3-15)

TONGUES LIKE AS OF FIRE!

  "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 upon each of them.

“And they were all filled with the Holy Ghost, and began to speak with other tongues, as the Spirit gave them utterance. But Peter, standing up with the eleven, lifted up his voice and said unto them, Ye men of Judaea, and all ye that dwell at Jerusalem, be this known unto you, and hearken to my words:

 "For these are not drunken, as ye suppose, seeing it is but the third hour of the day. 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 out of MY SPIRIT upon all flesh:

  "And your 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 I will POUR out in those days of MY SPIRIT; and they shall prophesy. And it shall come to pass that whosoever shall CALL on the name of the Lord shall be SAVED." (Acts 2: 1-4, 14-21)

Jesus kept His Promise: "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." (Luke 24: 49); "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: I will come to you.

"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 bring to your remembrance, whatsoever I have said unto you." (John 14: 16-18)

 The Church was born on the Day of Pentecost as God poured out His Holy Spirit upon about one hundred and twenty hungry souls! Again, He moved by FIRE! "

"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 upon each of them. And they were all filled with the Holy Ghost, and began to speak with other tongues, as the Spirit gave them utterance." (Acts 2:1-4)

And what was the outcome? After St. Peter preached His Pentecostal message, multitudes cried: "Men and brethren, what shall we do?" Then Peter answered: "Repent, and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins, and ye shall receive the gift of the Holy Ghost.

 “For the PROMISE is unto you, and to your children, and to all that are afar off, even to as many as the Lord our God shall call." (Acts 2: 38, 39)

FERVENT IN SPIRIT!

ST. PAUL wrote: "I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that ye present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, which is your reasonable service. And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect will of God." (Rom.1: 1,2)

Included in his list of duties to the leadership of the Church, he adds: "...Fervent in spirit, serving the Lord." (Rom. 12: 11)
How does one remain FERVENT in the spirit? The answer is in total consecration to Jesus Christ, obeying His Holy Word and being filled with His HOLY SPIRIT! It is in complete dedication to His Body the Church, and the extension of His Kingdom!

The BIBLE says: "That we should be to the praise of His glory, who first trusted in Christ. In Whom ye also trusted, after that ye heard the Word of Truth, the Gospel of your salvation: in Whom after ye believed ye were SEALED with that Holy Spirit of Promise, which is the EARNEST of our inheritance until the redemption of the purchased possession unto the prise of His glory." (Eph.1: 13, 14)

"And grieve not the Holy Spirit of God, whereby ye were SEALED unto the Day of Redemption. Let all bitterness and wrath and anger, and clamour, and evil speaking, be put away from you, with all malice: And be KIND one to another, tender hearted, forgiving one another, even as God for Christ's sake hath forgiven you" (Eph.4: 30,31)

These verses prove that when a believer is born again by the Word of God and Holy Spirit (1 Peter 1: 23) and receives the Mighty Baptism of the Holy Spirit, he is SEALED until the day of his redemption.

THE HOLY SPIRIT SEALS US!

We are secure in Jesus when we give ourselves totally in repentance and faith to Him and receive the Baptism of the Holy Spirit. The words 'SEALED until the Redemption of the Purchased Possession...' means that He will keep us safe and secure until our life on earth is over and we are in our eternal abode! We have been purchased by the precious BLOOD of Christ (1 Cor.6: 20) and are SEALED until we see Him face to face in Glory!

The Holy Spirit is the Guarantor of our salvation; of course this means that we must continue believing in and trusting Jesus Christ as our Lord and Saviour! There is great JOY in the Holy Spirit and the Bible says:

"Wherefore He saith, Awake thou that sleepest, and arise from the dead, and Christ shall give thee light. See then that ye walk circumspectly, not as fools, but as wise, redeeming the time, because the days are evil. Wherefore be ye not unwise, but understanding what the will of God is. And be not DRUNK with wine, wherein is excess, but be FILLED with the SPIRIT." (Eph.5: 14-18)

History proves that only by obeying this holy precept is a revival of righteousness possible. Down through the ages we have seen this pattern repeated: Repentance of sin, receiving God's forgiveness, the infilling of the Holy Spirit, intercessory prayer, the Spirit of love and compassion exhibited, and souls won for Christ!

In his book ‘When the Spirit Came’ (1928), Moravian Evangelist Rev. JOHN GREENFIELD wrote: “Of the Apostolic Church in Jerusalem a certain writer has said: ‘Before thirty years had elapsed from the death of Christ, His followers had spread from Palestine throughout Syria; throughout almost all the districts of Asia Minor; through Greece and the Islands of the Aegean sea, the coast of Africa, and even into Italy and Rome’

“And at the close of the First Century JUSTIN MARTYR could truly testify: ‘There is not a nation either Greek or Barbarian or of any other name, even those who wander in tribes or live in tents, among whom prayers and thanksgivings are not offered to the Father and Creator of the Universe in the name of the Crucified Jesus.”

John Greenfield writes: “Sprung from the labours and martyr-death of the great Bohemian Reformer, JOHN HUS, ‘the Brethren’ had passed through centuries of persecution. Many had sealed their testimony with their blood.

“Imprisonment, torture and banishment had caused them to forsake the homes of their fathers and flee for refuge to Germany where a young Christian Nobleman, Count Zinzendorf, offered them an asylum on his estates in Saxony. They named their new home Herrnhut, the Lord’s Watch. And from this place after their Baptism with the Holy Spirit, they became the world’s evangelists and missionaries.”

THE GREAT MORAVIAN REVIVAL!

The Moravian Church received a powerful Baptism in the Holy Spirit in Herrnhut, Germany on August 13, 1727. The congregation of about 300 persecuted Christians from various denominations, who had been given sanctuary by Count Zinzendorf, stopped criticizing one another and began in earnest prayer and were all filled with the blessed Holy Spirit.


During the first 30 years after their spiritual Pentecost, they carried the Gospel of Salvation through the blood of the Lamb not only to nearly every country in Europe but also to many pagan nations in America, North and South, Asia and Africa, the West Indies and Greenland.

Greenfield writes: “Fifty years before the beginning of modern Foreign Missions by WILLIAM CAREY, the Moravian Church had led the way into pagan countries both by precept and example.

“Their English Missionary magazine, ‘Periodical Accounts’ inspired Dr. Carey and in a meeting of his Baptist brethren he threw a copy of the paper on the table with these memorable and historic words: ‘See what the Moravians have done! Cannot we follow their example and in obedience to our Heavenly Master go out into the world, and preach the Gospel to the heathen?”

On August 27, 1727 an around-the-clock prayer chain was started that lasted for 100 years! The well-known German historian of ‘Protestant Missions’ Dr. Warneck testifies: “This small Church in twenty years called into being more Missions than the whole Evangelical church has done in two centuries.”

IT IS JESUS, JESUS ONLY!

“Matthew Henry’s comment on this passage was fulfilled in their case: ‘When God intends great mercy for His people, the first thing He does is to set them a praying.’

He also sent them a human leader and deliverer in the person of the young German nobleman, COUNT ZINZENDORF, who so kindly offered this persecuted Church a place of refuge on his own estates.

“This godly youth and pre-eminent genius had been divinely prepared for his great work of spiritual leadership. Converted in early childhood he composed and signed at four years of age the following covenant: “Dear Saviour, do Thou be mine and I will be Thine.” He had chosen as his life-motto the now famous confession: “I have one passion: It is Jesus, Jesus only.”

So effective and fruitful was this leadership that nearly two centuries later Professor BINNIE of Scotland declared: “It would not be going too far to affirm that Count Zinzendorf did more than any other man to redeem the Eighteenth Century from the reproach of barrenness, in relation to evangelical teaching and work.”

JOHN WESLEY, who founded the Methodist Church, was converted to Christ through the powerful testimony and ministry of the Moravians! Dear friends, let us follow their example and begin PRAYING earnestly, fervently and effectually!

THE BLUE PRINT FOR REVIVAL!

● GEORGE FOX (1624-1691) stated: “The Lord had said unto me: If but one man or woman were raised up by His power to stand in the same spirit that the apostles and prophets were in, that man or woman would shake all the country for miles around.”

● WILLIAM BOOTH said: “Go for the lost and go for the worst!”

● JOHN WESLEY prayed: “Give me 100 men who love nothing but God and fear nothing
 but sin, and I care not a straw whether they be clergymen or laymen; such alone will shake the gates of Hell and set up the Kingdom of Heaven on earth Heaven on earth.!”

● GEORGE WHITEFIELD prayed: “O’ Lord, give me souls or take mine!”

● JOHN KNOX prayed: “O’ God, give me Scotland or I die!”

● MARTIN LUTHER stated: “I live as though us Jesus Christ died yesterday, arose today, and is coming again tomorrow!”

● Seven times in John’s Gospel - chapters 14,15 & 16 - Jesus invites us to pray, declaring that God will answer us when we approach the ‘Throne of Mercy’ in His Name! My hope is that multitude of Christians will realize that God invites us to pray because He delights in answering our prayers!

● D.L. MOODY heard the British preacher Henry Varley say, “The world has yet to see what God will do with and for and in and by the man who is fully consecrated to him." Moody determined in his heart that he would be that man and God used him in a wonderful way for many years in the USA and Great Britain.

● WILLIAM SEYMOUR – the son of former slaves – who was used mightily in the Azusa Street Revival in Los Angeles, California (1906-1909) stated: “Before I met Parham the hunger to have more of God was in my heart that I prayed for 5 hours a day for 2 ½ years. I got to Los Angeles, and there the hunger was not less but more.
“I prayed to God, ‘What can I do?’ The Spirit said: ‘Pray more.' I said: 'But Lord, I am praying 5 hours a day now.' I increased my hours of prayer to seven, and prayed on for a year and a half more. I prayed to God to give me what Parham preached, the real Holy Ghost and Fire with tongues with love and power of God like the Apostles!”

JONATHON EDWARDS (1703–1758), who is considered America’s greatest theologian is known for his sermon, ‘Sinners in the hands of an angry God’, was a mighty man of prayer. He usually sought God in agonizing prayer for 18 hours before delivering His powerful sermons!

Before preaching his renowned sermon on July 8, 1741 in Enfield, Connecticut, Jonathon Edwards agonized for three days and nights in intensive intercessory prayer. The results were staggering! Many who heard his message trembled and cried out for mercy. Others fell under the Holy Spirit’s power. Five hundred people were converted that day.

Edwards was a Dedicated Vessel for the Lord. He said: “If it were re­vealed to me that in any stage of history there could be but one man who were in all to fulfil the will of God, I would strive with all my might to be that man."

JONATHON EDWARDS cried out to God: “Give me New England or I die.” The revival that followed was the outcome of his agonized prayers! Undoubtedly, the godly example of his prayer-filled son-in-law David Brainerd, who persevered through much adversity in reaching the American Indians for our Saviour - also impacted Edwards greatly!

ROBERT MURRAY McCHEYNE said: "Men return again and again to the few who have mastered the spiritual secret, whose life is hid with Christ in God. These are of the Old Time Religion, hung to the Nails of the Cross."

RICHARD BAXTER declared: "I preach like a dying man to dying men. Every time I preach, I preach as though it were the last time I would preach."

ABRAHAM LINCOLN said: "I want my preacher to preach like he's fighting bees when he's preaching."

CALVIN COOLIDGE stated: “America was born in a revival of religion. Back of that revival were John Wesley, George Whitefield and Francis Asbury.”

FRANKLIN D. ROOSEVELT said, “No greater thing could come to our land today than a revival of the spirit of religion. . . . I doubt if there is any problem, social, political or economic, that would not melt away before the fire of such a spiritual awakening.”

LEONARD RAVENHILL challenged: "The greatest tragedy is a SICK church in a dying world." He charged: "If Jesus would have preached like many preach today, they never would have crucified Him."

GENERAL WILLAM BOOTH spoke prophetically when he said: "The thing that I fear for the next century is that there will be: 1). Religion without the Holy Ghost; 2). Christianity without Christ; 3). Salvation without Regeneration; 4). Forgiveness without Repentance; 5). Politics without God; 6). Heaven without Hell."

DR. OSWALD J. SMITH (1948), in 'The Fire of God' stated that he had studied the lives and ministries of great men of God like Luther, Knox, Wesley, Whitefield, Finney, Moody and Booth. What was their key to reach nations for God? He discovered they all majored in: Sin and Salvation, Heaven and Hell and Judgment!

Not long before the tragedy of Katrina, Oral Roberts shared a vision God had given him. He saw a dark cloud hanging over the USA and God told him that judgment would fall on America because His preachers were not preaching the Gospel. They were preaching everything but the Gospel. And they were not preaching about the soon return of Jesus Christ.

ORAL ROBERTS said: "I began to weep and ask God to forgive me because I could not remember the last time I had preached an entire message on the 'Second Coming of Christ." Then he called on preachers, saying: "Get the fire of God in your belly and preach the Gospel and tell people that Jesus is Coming Soon."

BILLY GRAHAM prayed this prayer many years ago: "Lord, do it Again! Do what you did when the Apostles were called. Do what you did following Pentecost. Do what you did for Saul of Tarsus, Augustine, Luther, Whitefield, John Wesley and William Booth! Lord, do it again and help us to win this world for Jesus Christ!"

CHRIST' LAST MESSAGE: REPENT OR ELSE!

Jesus Christ's last words to His followers before He ascended to the throne are referred to as 'The Great Commission'. These were His 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 (St. Paul in Malta); and if the drink any deadly thing (Pentecostal pastors in Soviet prisons) it shall not hurt them: they shall lay hands on the sick and they shall recover." (Mark 16: 15-18)

The LAST WORDS spoken by our Crucified, Risen and Glorified Lord to the Church were given to St. John on the Isle of Patmos. They were powerful and demanding and to five of the seven churches, He said: "REPENT OR ELSE!" That is very disturbing!

In our desperate need for a genuine Revival in the Church, we must go to Jesus Christ’s messages to seven churches in the Book of Revelation. I believe we can find the key to REVIVAL in these verses!

To the Church at LAODICEA, Jesus said: “I know thy works, that thou art neither cold nor hot. I would thou were cold or hot. So then, because thou art lukewarm, and neither cold nor hot I will spew thee out of My mouth.” (Rev.3: 15, 16).

JESUS WARNS: “Because thou say, I am rich and increased with goods and have need of nothing; and knows 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 may be rich; and white raiment, that thou may be clothed and that the shame of thy nakedness do not appear; and anoint thine eyes with eye salve, that thou may 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: 17-20)


Although five out of the seven Churches Jesus critiqued needed to repent, Laodicea was the worst. The Church at EPHESUS, had been a model Church sixty years earlier when Paul had preached there. Now they were charged by our Lord of having “left their first love” (Rev.2:4).


The Church at PERGAMOS was allowing the seriously perverted teachings of Balaam as well as the Nicolaitans to gain inroads into the congregation. Jesus warned them: “Repent or I will come unto thee quickly and will fight against them (false teachers) with the sword of My mouth.” (Rev.2: 16)

To the Church at THYATIRA, He said: “Notwithstanding I have somewhat against thee, because thou suffers that woman Jezebel which calls herself a prophetess, to teach and seduce My servants to commit fornication and to eat things offered unto idols. And I gave her space to repent of her fornication; and she repented not.” (Rev.2: 20-22)

To the Church in SARDIUS our Lord said: “I know thy works; that thou hast a name that thou lives and are dead. Be watchful, and strengthen the things which remain, that are ready to die: for I have not found thy works perfect before God.
"Remember therefore how thou has received and heard, and hold fast and repent. If therefore thou shall not watch, I will come on thee as a thief, and thou shall not know what hour I will come upon thee.” (Rev.3:1-3)

To the Church at SMYRNA our Lord Jesus had no words of rebuke. He said: “These things saith the First and the Last, which was dead and is alive… Be thou faithful unto death and I will give thee a Crown of Life.” (Rev.2: 8-10).

To the Church at PHILADELPHI our Lord Jesus Christ said: “These things saith He that is Holy, He that is True, He that hath the key of David, He that opens and no man shuts; And shuts and no man opens. Behold I come quickly; hold fast that which thou hast, that no man takes thy crown.” (Rev.3: 7, 11, 12)

The Head of the Church was not pleased with five out of the seven churches. They were admonished to repent. The sad state is that they had put Jesus out of His Church and He was trying desperately to get back in, and that is where we find ourselves in many churches in this End Time! If ever we needed a Revival of Righteousness, Intercession and Soul winning, it is now!

HEREIN LIES THE KEY TO REVIVAL!


Going back to our text, Isaiah cries out for God to "… Rend the heavens…and Come Down that the mountains would flow down at Thy presence. As when the melting FIRE burns, the fire causes the waters to BOIL, to make Thy NAME known to Thine adversaries that the nations may tremble at Thy presence." (Isaiah 64: 1)

This is about taking hold of the horns of the altar and holding on until He answers. It is about repenting, asking, believing and by faith receiving His promised REVIVAL! And then, going out and possessing our inheritance as children of God!

It is Earth crying out to Heaven. It is a heart wrenching prayer to the Eternal God from a Prophet whose people have gone astray. It is an Emergency Call for Divine Help and intervention in the affairs of sinful men. It is an SOS directed to the ears of the Almighty God and Saviour of the world. It is the beginning of a Revival of Righteousness!

When conditions become so desperate that human nature, which is sinful at best, revolts against the deplorable, despicable perversion and violence in society, decent human beings feel compelled to call upon the Lord for help.

Prophet Isaiah was undoubtedly looking back to the times God had come down to this earth in judgment upon sinful flesh, sending a flood that wiped out the entire population except Noah and his family, destroying Sodom and Gomorrah with fire and brimstone, delivering Moses and the Children of Israel by parting the Red Sea and allowing the waters to return destroying the ‘Might of Egypt’.

He cried out: "When Thou did terrible things which we looked not for, THOU CAME DOWN, the mountains flowed down. For since the beginning of the world men have not heard, nor perceived by the ear, neither hath the eye seen, O God, beside Thee, what He hath prepared for him that waits for Him." (Is. 64: 3, 4)

GOD’S PROMISES: BEYOND UNDERSTANDING!

St. Paul refers to the great things which God has promised for those “who WAIT for Him.” These promises are so great that “eye hath not seen, nor ear heard, neither have entered into the heart of man, the things which God hath prepared for them that love Him. But God hath revealed them unto us by His Spirit: for the Spirit searches all things, yea the deep things of God.” (1 Cor. 2:9, 10)

The great ‘Apostle to the Gentiles’ reveals the blindness of the Jewish leaders who condemned their Messiah and the pagan Romans who crucified Him: “But we speak the wisdom of God in a Mystery, even the hidden wisdom, which God ordained before the world unto our glory: 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: 7, 8)

These great promises are in effect today and will carry right on into eternity! Many unknowing Ministers take this to mean that all these things will begin happening only after we are in Glory. The truth is found in verse 10, where it states: “But God hath revealed them unto us by His Spirit.”

VANCE HAVNER, one of America’s most powerful Baptist preachers, stated that the great things God promised, is not referring only to Paradise but also for the church now, if by faith we press in to receive them for His glory! I believe that UNBELIEF has robbed the Church of our effectiveness to turn back the powers of darkness that has invaded our ranks and is making us ineffective Messengers of God’s Kingdom!

Isaiah prayed in repentance with humility: "Thou meets him that rejoices and works righteousness, those that remember Thee in Thy ways: behold, Thou art wroth; for we have SINNED; in those is continuance, and we shall be saved. But we are all as an UNCLEAN thing, and all our righteousnesses are as FILTHY RAGS; and we all do fade as a leaf; and our iniquities, like the wind have taken us away.

THE KEY TO UNLOCK REVIVAL FIRES!

"And there is none that calls on Thy name that stirs up himself to take hold of Thee, for Thou hast hid Thy face from us, and hast consumed us, because of iniquities. But now, O Lord, Thou art our Father; we are the clay and Thou our POTTER and we all are the work of Thy hand." (Isa.64: 4-8)

Here is the key to unlock the REVIVAL Fires of God in our land! It is also the key verse that informs us why we do not have a revival. It reveals the prognoses of our spiritual sickness and also the prescription for the kind of medicine that will cure our serious illness.


First, it reveals that God had hidden his face from us because we have sinned grievously. The previous verse states that our righteousnesses are like filthy rags. The terribly bewildering fact is that there isn’t anyone getting stirred up enough to “take a hold of Him!”


There is no-one laying hold on the promises of God, like Job of old, when he cried out: “Though He slay me yet will I trust Him…” (Job 13:15). Or, like St. Peter when during the height of the raging storm, cried out: “Lord if it be Thou, bid me come to Thee on the water.” (Matt.14: 28)

NO-ONE is calling upon His name in desperation. No-one is crying out for mercy, forgiveness and healing. No-one has confronted the Almighty and taken a hold of Him, like Jacob of old, saying, “I will not let Thee go except Thou bless me.”

There is no-one like John Knox crying out: “O God, give me Scotland or I die,” or Jonathon Edwards interceding in prayer for three days and night before preaching his powerful sermon, ‘Sinners in the Hands of the Living God’ which brought 500 souls to Christ on July 8, 1741 in Enfield, Connecticut.

WHAT DO YOU WANT FROM ME?

Where are God’s holy Ministers today crying out for Revival on their knees crying out: “Help me or I die; I need some answers; We need a genuine, Holy Ghost, Heaven sent revival from the hand of God; What do you want me to do? Here am I, send me!”

The Bible says: "Now while Paul waited for them at Athens, his spirit was STIRRED in him when he saw the city wholly given to idolatry." (Acts 17:16); "And he reasoned in the synagogue every Sabbath and persuaded the Jews and the Greeks. And when Silas and Timotheus were come from Macedonia, Paul was PRESSED in the spirit, and testified to the Jews that JESUS was Christ." (Acts 18: 5)

St. Paul wrote to Timothy: "Wherefore I put thee in remembrance that thou STIR up the gift of God, which is in thee by the putting on of my hands. For God hath not given us the spirit of fear; but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind." (2 Tim.1: 6.7)

Apparently, Timothy was fearful and apprehensive realizing the great responsibility he had in advancing the Gospel message, in a time when Rome was pouring on the persecution. The possibility that Paul, his great mentor, could soon be martyred was very real and then, what might happen to him. He was a young preacher and was expected to do the work of a seasoned soldier of the cross, but St. Paul knew that the gift of God which lay dormant in Timothy could be stirred up!

KING DAVID had sinned grievously and then he calls upon God in earnestness and desperation. He is afraid that he is near the point of no return; that he may be close the end of God’s mercy. He cries out in desperation:

“Have MERCY upon me, O God, according to Thy loving kindness. WASH me thoroughly from iniquity, and cleanse me from my sin. For I acknowledge my transgression: and my sin is ever before me. PURGE me with hyssop, and I shall be clean. Wash me and I shall be whiter than snow.

“Hide Thy face from my sins, and BLOT out all my iniquities, Create in me a clean heart O God; and RENEW a right spirit within me. Cast me not away from Thy presence; and take not Thy Holy Spirit from me. RESTORE unto me the joy of Thy salvation; and uphold me with Thy free spirit.” (Psa.51: 1-12)

FREDRIK FRANSEN: THE FIRE PROPHET

Fredrik Fransen was an itinerant Gospel preacher in Norway around the turn of the 19th Century. At that time it was almost impossible for a Minister to conduct Gospel meetings outside the Lutheran State Church. Fredrik Fransen had been invited to stay at the home of an elderly man while evangelizing the city of Ålesund, which lies near the Ocean.

His work came to an abrupt end when an agitated crowd turned ugly and threatening. The preacher was told in no uncertain terms that he was not wanted in that city and a very large gathering of town’s people literally chased him out of Ålesund.


He stopped on the edge of town and faced the mob with these words, "As you have driven me out of your city, one day all of you will flee from this city on this very road."

About a year or so later a fire started when a cow kicked a torch in the Ålesund Preserving Company’s factory at 2:00 AM on January 23, 1904. A gale from the sea propelled the fire forward and almost the entire City burned to the ground. The fire leaped over the house belonging to the man who had given the preacher lodging. It is still preserved as a ‘heritage site’ until today.

As the fire swept across the city devouring almost everything in its path, the owner of the house fell to his knees and prayed. His relatives said: "Hurry, you old religious nut. Get out and run for your life." He answered: "I didn't start the fire and I'm not leaving." They said: “We are all carrying what we can to the top of the mountain. We will take your furniture, you old fool. You will die." He answered: "You are free to take what you want. I didn't start he fire and I'm staying."

The fire raced up the mountainside to the look-out (A restaurant is there now) and burned every one's furniture. True to the Preacher's words, thousands of people literally ran for their lives out of Ålesund down the very road they had chased Fredrik Fransen.

At the 100th anniversary of the fire January 23, 2004, I was preaching in that city and was invited to the Museum at Midnight to hear the history and enjoy some musical renditions performed by the Philharmonic Orchestra. At midnight several hundred brave souls made a two to three hour walk about the city to hear the Curator / Historian relate some facts about the fire 100 years earlier.

Pastor Haaken Nilsen introduced me to the Curator and informed him that I could speak Norwegian and that I knew the history of Fredrik Fransen. The Museum’s Curator said that the House had been recently struck from the tour, and he would be pleased if I would relate to the crowd the story of Fredrik Fransen and the reason the dire did not engulf that house, because many had not heard it.

I stood on a chair at about 2:00 AM and shared with several hundred die-hard History buffs the great historical event of the Ålesund Fire and why it happened, and that God not only loves us but also Judges mankind because of our sins. Everyone there were very attentive and I prayed for their City and all their loved ones!

WHAT DOES ALL THIS MEAN?

God still answers by FIRE! He has not changed His Word or methodology to please some airy-fairy, arrogant, proud, puny, so-called intellectual academics who parade themselves as knowing more than the Holy Spirit and our Lord Jesus Christ! Amen.

Saturday, June 12, 2021

 

              The Master Key to Miracles

                                     By Pastor Max Solbrekken, D.D.

God's Eternal Son defeated Satan on the Cross, outside Jerusalem's City wall, when He died as God’s paschal Lamb for the sins of the world! For 2,000 years the amazing Gospel of Jesus Christ has been heralded across the world by Word and song! We worship our Saviour and praise God for the Cross and the 'Blood of the Lamb'.

The BIBLE says: “In this was manifested the love of God toward us, because that God sent His only begotten Son into the world, that we might live through Him. Herein is Love, not that we loved God, but that He loved us, and sent His Son to be the propitiation for our sins.” (1 John 4:9,10)

My little children, these things write I unto you, that ye SIN not. And if any man sin, we have an advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the Righteous; and He is the propitiation for our sins; and not only for ours only but also for the sins of the whole world.” (1 John 2:1,2)

For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God; being justified freely by His grace through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus: Whom God hath set forth to be a propitiation (mercy seat, covering) through faith in His blood, to declare, I say, at this time His righteousness: that He might be just, and the justifier of him that believeth in Jesus.” (Rom. 3: 23-26)

Propitiation means mercy seat, expiation, satisfaction! Only a sinless person could redeem the world through His shed blood, and Jesus was that Sinless One! God accepted the blood of Jesus Christ in exchange for our sins!

JESUS THE SINLESS ONE!

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 we be saved from wrath through Him. For if when we were enemies, we were reconciled by the Death of His Son, much more, being reconciled, we shall be saved by His life.” (Rom. 5:8 -10)

Jesus of Nazareth met the righteous demands of Divine Justice in the courts of Heaven, when He gave His Holy Blood to purchase our Redemption! God's righteousness was satisfied, and Satan was forever defeated and will be consigned eternally to the Lake of Fire! (Rev. 20:10)

God's Word says, “But we see Jesus, who was made a little lower than the angels for the suffering of death, crowned with glory and honour, that He by the grace of God, should taste death for every man.

For as much then as the children are partakers of flesh and blood, He also Himself likewise took part of the same, that through Death He might Destroy him that had he power of death, that is the Devil: and Deliver them that through fear of death, were all their lifetime, subject to bondage.” (Heb. 2:9, 14, 15)

DECLARED GUILTY BY GOD!

Through the Incarnation God the Son became fully Man, born of the Virgin Mary. In Heaven, He was together with God the Father and the Holy Spirit and came to earth to meet the Righteous demands of Divine Justice and satisfy the Wrath of the Father, for the sins of Adam.

The Sinless One, Jesus of Nazareth, was born to die as God's paschal Lamb to ATONE for the sins of the entire human race, past, present and future! Only the blood of a sinless man could satisfy the wrath of the Almighty. In His great love, compassion and justice the Heavenly Father gave His only begotten Son to Redeem mankind!

Jesus Christ paid the insurmountable debt we all owed, when He took our place on the cursed Tree. Crucifixion was the harshest penalty for murderers and traitors under Roman Law. Our Saviour was condemned by the Jewish High Priest, the Roman Rule and by God the Heavenly Father Himself!

The BIBLE says: “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 everyone to his own way; and the Lord hath laid on Him (Jesus) the iniquity of us all.” (Is. 53:4-6)

THE CROSS PROVES GOD'S LOVE!

The CROSS proves the Righteousness of God and it shows the Love and Mercy of our Heavenly Father! The Bible says: “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)

For He hath made Him to be sin for us, who knew no sin; that we might be made the righteousness of God in Him.” (2 Cor. 5:14,15, 21). “...Without shedding of blood is no remission for sins.” (Heb.9:22)

God has placed the Holy Spirit within us to build the Church and to glorify the name of Jesus Christ! Jesus promised: “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).

BEGINNING OF PROMISES FILFILLED!

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 as of fire, and it sat upon each of them. And they were all filled with the Holy Ghost, and began to speak in other tongues, as the Spirit gave them utterance.” (Acts 2: 1- 4)

Now Peter and John went up together into the temple at the hour of prayer, being the ninth hour. And a certain man lame 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, his feet and ankle bones received strength. And he leaping up stood, and walked, and entered wit them into the temple, walking, and leaping, and praising God: And they knew it was he which sat for alms at the Beautiful Gate of the temple: And they were filled with wonder and 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 hath made this man to walk? The God of Abraham and 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 was determined to let Him go.

But ye denied the Holy One and 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.” (Acts 2: 1- 16)

Without Jesus Christ's death and resurrection there would be NO miracles or healing for the sick! Miracles of Divine Healing are based upon the power of the Blood of Jesus Christ, the Saviour of the world! Amen.

JESUS CHRIST IS ALIVE TODAY!

But this man (Christ) after He had offered one sacrifice for sins for ever, sat down on the Right hand of God.” (Heb. 9: 12). He said, “Come unto Me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take My yoke upon you and learn of Me; for I am meek and lowly in heart; and ye shall find rest unto your souls. For My yoke is easy and My burden is light.” (Matt. 11:28-30)

JESUS invited: “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 My Father and My Father dwelleth 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 believeth 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 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. 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, for He dwelleth with you, and shall be in you. I will not leave you comfortless. I will come into you.” (John 14: 10-18).

                        JESUS KEPT ME OUT OF THE WHEELCHAIR

                                   Says Muriel Tanasiuk, Edmonton, AB

            (Taken from Cry of His Coming Magazine September, 1991)

Just two year after my husband and I retired, I became very ill. I ran a very high fever for four days. I shook the bed with the effects of that fever. After I recovered for a short time, one of my wrists began to ache. The pain ran up my arm to the shoulder. I went to the doctor for an examination. Some tests were made and some blood samples were taken. The blood tests showed that I had rheumatoid arthritis – classified as acute.

There was no cure. The arthritis in my body was rampant and spread through my body like cancer. The arthritis spread to every joint in my body. The rippling effect twisted by feet and hands rapidly. I could not straighten one of my legs, and the other knee would not bend. My hips hurt as well as my shoulders. I could not raise my arms up to remove my clothes. My jaw ached.

The next two years were in the Glenrose Hospital (12 weeks) and on every new drug without help. Casts were made for my arms, which I was required to wear at night to prevent my arms and hands from twisting. I could no longer close my hands and it was necessary to make plastic tubes to slide on to the handles of forks, knives and spoons in order to make me able to feed myself. The next thing would be a wheelchair!

JESUS CHRIST HEALED & SAVED ME!

My late brother-in-law, Bill, was a member of Faith Cathedral and he told us about Divine Healing. My husband Reg took me there and Pastor Max Solbrekken laid his hands on me and prayed. I felt as a sensation in my lower extremities. I felt that I had been touched by God but not completely healed.. I felt it was because I did not have complete faith. My Husband and I were Christians, but had not attended church regularly until the time we became members of Faith Cathedral.

There came a time when reading my Bible, I read Isaiah 53:5. “But He was wounded for our transgressions, He was bruised for our iniquities. Upon Him was the chastisement that made us whole; and with His stripes we are healed.” Matthew 8: 17, was the fulfillment of what was spoken by the Prophet Isaiah: “He took our infirmities and bore our diseases.”

It was suddenly like a vision or the Spirit in my heart that said, “You are healed!” I began thanking God for healing me! It was not long before I felt no pain, my hands straightened out, the knobs on my elbows disappeared. I WAS HEALED! I have regained the muscle tone in my arms, legs and back. O God, I thank Him every day for my Healing and for my Salvation. Yes, I was born again, and I was baptized in water and I have been baptized in the Holy Spirit!

In all my life I have known peace, an inner happiness and contentment I now have! Praise the Lord, hallelujah, thank you Jesus! Amen.

NOTE: Shortly after the miracle, Reg and Muriel went on the Noordam/ Caribbean 1990 Tour. This is only the Introduction to my new Book. There is much more to come soon! m.s

Tuesday, June 8, 2021

- EVIL -

INHERENT OR LEARNED

BEHAVIOUR?
by: Pastor Max Solbrekken, D.D.

Editor's Note: This article was written in 1995, and in light of the very recent deliberate killings by an evil man in Edmonton, Alberta who steered his vehicle into a family of Muslim worshippers killing four and severely injuring a boy, proves that Satan is still doing his EVIL work through his disciples! How unbelievably wicked and terribly SAD that this happened here! - Pastor Max Solbrekken, June 8, 2021

"For My people have committed two evils; they have forsaken Me the fountain of living water an have hewn themselves out cisterns, broken cisterns that can hold no water." (Jeremiah 2:8-13)

IS EVIL INHERENT OR LEARNED BEHAVIOUR?

A number of years ago, I was a guest of CJCA'S Ron Collister Show.  For many years I had joined the popular host and his listeners in lively debates, on interesting and relevant topics.

Our July 1 program featured the very important subject, 'Is Evil inherent or is evil a product of environment or learned behaviour?'  Is a person born with the propensity to do evil or is evil a learned behaviour?

IS GOOD OR EVIL WINNING IN OUR WORLD TODAY?

Ron Collister asked each caller the same question He asked me: "Which of these – good or evil - is winning in our world today"? Most of the callers seemed to think that the scourge of evil was dominating our society and winning big.  The callers felt that evil was ruling this world.

INCREASE OF EVIL IS SIGN OF LAST DAYS

My answer mirrored the words of Jesus when he referred to the increase of evil as a sign of the last days: "Because iniquity shall abound, the love of many shall wax cold."  (Matthew 24:12)  "As it was in the days of Noah, so shall it be in the days of the Son on man...Likewise also as it was in the days of Lot...even thus shall it be when the Son of man is revealed." (Luke 17:26-30)

How Evil were conditions on earth before God sent the Flood, as well also wiped out Sodom and Gomorrah with fire and brimstone?

The conditions on earth were very evil, very corrupt, perverted and violent in the days of Sodom and Gomorrah - much like the world is today.  Here is the Bible record of the EVIL that existed during those 2 time periods.

"And God saw that the wickedness of man was great in the earth, and that every imagination of his heart was only EVIL continually."  "And it repented the Lord that He had made man on the earth, and it grieved Him in his heart.  And the Lord said, I will destroy man...." (Genesis 6:5-7)

Again, Moses reports: "The earth also was corrupt before God, and the earth was filled with violence." (Genesis 6:11)

The people of Sodom and Gomorrah was so immoral, evil and violent that when two angels visited Lot - to evacuate him and his family before the destruction began - they demanded that Lot bring out the two strangers so they might sodomize them.

"But before they lay down, the men of the city, even the men of Sodom, compassed the house round, both old and young, all the people from every quarter.

And they called unto Lot, and said unto him, Where are the men which came into thee this night?  bring them out unto us, that we may know (have sex) them." (Genesis 19:4-5)

When Lot refused, the large crowd of homosexuals tried to break down his door, to commit gang rape! They told Lot to get out of the way, warning him: "Now we will deal worse with thee than with them." (Genesis 19:4:9)

The homosexuals in Sodom were violent, evil and brutal.  They threatened Lot with violence and punishment if he refused to turn over these two young strangers to satisfy their abnormal, EVIL and perverted lust

The angels forcibly rescued Lot and smote the attackers with blindness, in order to prevent them from tearing down the door.

OUR WORLD IS VERY EVIL!

Wow! That is strong, and hits very close to home.  The violence and evil is all over this earth, this world, and we are in days as EVIL as the time of Sodom and Gomorrah.

St. Paul warns that Evil will escalate as we near the last days, the end of this age: "This know also, that in the last days PERILOUS times shall come.  For men shall be lovers of their own selves, covetous, boasters, proud, blasphemers, disobedient to parents, unthankful, unholy,"

"Without natural affection, truce breakers, false accusers, incontinent, fierce, despisers of those that are good, traitors, heady, high-minded, lovers of pleasures more than lovers of God."

"But evil men and seducers shall wax worse and worse, deceiving and being deceived." (2 Timothy 3:1-4, 13)

Again, he admonished: "Now the Spirit speaketh expressly, that in the latter times some shall depart from the faith, giving heed to seducing spirits, and DOCTRINES OF DEVILS;"

"Speaking lies in hypocrisy; having their conscience seared with a hot iron." (1 Timothy 4:1-2)

When you consider the recent evil, brutal and horror filled deaths of eight foreigners in Uganda's National Park by Rwandan rebels, it is not hard to believe that they were very unconscionable.

A study of the horrible raping and killing of dozens of young women by pornography sadist Ted Bundy, and the serial killings of dozens of young homosexual men - whom he first sodomized - by pervert killer John Wayne Gacy proves that consciences can become seared.

The killing of little children by their mothers like Jones of Alabama, and recently the three small children killed by their mother, as well as the killing of parents by children like the Menendez case when the 2 Menendez brothers brutally murdered their mom and dad for their wealth is ample evidence of the evil that reigns in the heart of lost and depraved humanity.

No wonder the prophet declared: "The heart is deceitful above all things and desperately wicked: Who can know it?"

RIGHTEOUSNESS SHALL TRIUMPH

I answered Ron Collister: "Yes, it appears that evil is gaining ground and at present, may have the ascendancy but in the end, RIGHTEOUSNESS WILL TRIUMPH.  One day, Jesus Christ will return and put away EVIL for good."

I interjected that there is however, some good news, a great revival of righteousness is presently occurring in our world.

Since the break up of the Soviet Union, a revival of Christianity is sweeping Eastern Europe.  Recent estimates put the figure at 6,000 conversions to Jesus Christ every day.

Although gangsters, evil and crime is rampant in those countries, yet a mighty statement of righteousness and goodness is being made through the successful endeavors of God's people.

I might add, that in our recent crusade (1992) in Truskavets, Ukraine - a health resort city which boasts many sanitariums and draws people from across Eastern Europe - Mikhael Gorbachev's sister - Galina Sergiovana - answered a salvation altar call to confess Jesus Christ as her Saviour.

Evangelical Christianity is so strong in South Korea, the Church is growing faster than the population in that former Buddhist stronghold! And in 1986, Newsweek carried a story titled, 'LATIN AMERICA: TRADITIONALLY ROMAN CATHOLIC RED IS TURNING PROTESTANT BLACK'.

The large feature article reported that the gospel of Christ as preached by Evangelical Christians were gaining converts at 400 per hour. That's 9,600 every 24 hours! The 'red' spoke of the scarlet colors used by Roman Catholic prelates and the 'black' referred to the Bible carried to church by Protestants.

CHRISTIANS DYING FOR THEIR FAITH

Believers in Jesus Christ are being tortured in a number of Muslim dominated countries, and forced to convert to paganism under threat of death and starvation! A classic case is Sudan, where fanatical Muslims have since 1989 murdered more than a million black Christians in an unparalleled "religious cleansing".

They are being given the ultimatum, "Convert to Islam, or die". From numerous authenticated reports, we understand that this present genocide is much greater than that of the demonized Muslim strongman, Idi Amin, who terrorized Uganda in the not too distant past.

And who is presently being granted protection by Saudi Arabia. Several years ago, 'Newsweek' carried a report by one of their journalists who had proof that the Muslims of the north were selling black animist & Christian women as slaves for $15 US. Recently, Rev. Cal Bombay, long time TV broadcaster with 100 Huntley Street together with a TV camera crew traveled to Sudan, met the Muslims and documented the purchase of 319 black Christian & animist women and girls, into freedom.

After his initial success, Bombay undertook a second dangerous and costly journey to purchase the freedom of hundreds more slaves from their Muslim captors!   The 'Canadian Press' quotes Bombay: "I want the world to know what a rotten thing is happening in the south of Sudan, by a rogue government that is fundamentally violent and trying to force people to become Islamic".

INHUMANE TREATMENT OF CHRISTIANS

The inhumane, EVIL treatment of Christians in Muslim dominated lands today, has to go down in history as comparable to Adolf Hitler's holocaust of 6 million Jews, Joseph Stalin's murder of 7 million Ukrainians by starvation in 1933 and Mao tse Tung's genocide of between 40 to 80 million Chinese.

According to Dr. David Barrett, an Anglican minister & statistician - who has been tracking this phenomenon for more than a decade - an estimated 330,000 Christians are martyred every year, somewhere in the world - for their faith in Jesus Christ!  That is what I call real EVIL.

Oral Roberts said a number of years ago: "I don't know how we're doing it, but somehow we are winning." And Billy Graham stated, "I have read the last chapter in the book and it says: 'We win'!"

EVIL - EXACTLY WHAT IS EVIL?

The Webster Dictionary meaning of evil:  Daniel Webster defines 'evil' as "morally wrong, immoral, sinful, wicked, causing injury, mischief, trouble, pain, bad, harmful, repulsive".

The Webster Dictionary meaning of inherent:  And his definition of 'inherent' is: "forming an essential or intrinsic element of; existing inseparably within an object or person".

Is the human race cursed with two strikes against it at birth? Could there be a genetic defect in those who rise to infamy such as Attila the Hun, Adolf Hitler, Benito Mussolini, Saddam Hussein, Jeffry Dahmer or John Gacy?

Or has this evil come to us because of the fall of our first parents, Adam and Eve, as the Bible states?

WHAT ABOUT ENVIRONMENT:  home, church, school, friendships, fraternities? What part does upbringing, training, nurturing, learning and companionship play in a person's character?

I BELIEVE THAT EVIL IS BOTH INHERENT & LEARNED

In more than 40 years of very active Christian Ministry, I have formulated a definite opinion that - without doubt - EVIL is both inherent and learned.

The Bible states, "The wicked are estranged from the womb. They go astray as soon as they are born, speaking lies". (Ps alms 58:3) And, "The scripture hath concluded all under sin". (Galatians 3:22)

You don't need to teach infants how to lie. We've all seen them do that even before they can talk. Holding a cookie behind his back, little Billy will shake his head saying, "No, I didn't raid the cookie jar".

St. Paul blames Adam for our fallen condition: "Wherefore, as by one man sin entered into the world, and death by sin; and so death passed upon all men, for that all have sinned". (Romans 5:12)

THE REMEDY or ANTIDOTE AGAINST EVIL

Then, he gives us the antidote or remedy against EVIL. "For as by one man's (Adam) disobedience many were made sinners, so by the obedience of One (Jesus Christ) shall many be made righteous". (Romans 5:19)Again, the Bible says, "For all have sinned and come short of the glory of God; Being justified freely by His grace through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus". (Romans 3:23-24)

Here, we find the dilemma of the human race. We were born with a nature that is at enmity with God. We are sinners by birth, by nature and unfortunately, sinners also by choice.

But God, sending His Son to die for our sins - as our substitute - paid the ransom price to purchase our salvation. Through His grace, we receive a new nature and are born again from above.

Here is the good news, then: "For the wages of sin is death; but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord". (Romans 6:23)  In the letter to the Romans, St. Paul agonizes over the fact that.

"For I know that in me (that is in my flesh), dwelleth no good thing: for to will is present with me; but how to perform that which is good I find not, for the good that I would I do not: but the evil which I would not that I do."

"O wretched man that I am! Who shall deliver me from the body of this death?" THEN HE GIVES US THE KEY: "For the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus has made me free from the law of sin and death". (Romans 7:18, 19, 24; 8:2)

EVIL IS ALSO A LEARNED BEHAVIOR

The Bible verifies this as well: "Be not deceived: evil communications corrupt good manners". (1 Corinthians 15:33)

Here are a couple of true sayings: "Birds of a feather flock together", and "Show me who your friends are and I'll show you who you are".

It's a known fact that most child abusers were themselves abused as children. And the majority of perverts were themselves corrupted by older relatives, friends or authority figures.

Sad to say, the fourth case involving molestation of young boys in the Edmonton area - within the last number of years - was reported among the Uncles-at-Large membership.

Homosexual perverts know how to infiltrate places of respectability, influence and position of authority among the most vulnerable to their advances, namely teenage boys.

Proof of this has been documented and reported far too often in the past few years, about young Canadian hockey players sexually manipulated, intimidated and perverted by coaches and others working around hockey arenas.

Our hats go off to NHL hockey player Sheldon Kennedy - who fingered well-known hockey coach, the homosexual predator, who is now serving time in prison for his EVIL sexual crimes.

It is no wonder the sodomist community around the world rejoiced in jubilation when OUR GUTLESS CANADIAN GOVERNMENT, against all decency - lowered the legal age of homosexual activity to 14, something which the perverts who have been lusting after young boys have desired for years.

RONALD REAGAN CALLED FORMER SOVIET UNION an "evil empire"

COMMUNISM - EVIL OF EVILS!  US President Ronald Reagan called the former Soviet Empire an "evil empire" and he was right! Now we know the enormity of the crimes of that wicked system, with Eastern Europe bankrupt economically and the ecology so terribly polluted that it will take billions of dollars and decades of hard work to bring things back to normal there.

The Bible says that God will destroy those who destroy the earth! (Revelation 11:18) The callous attitude of Soviet Communists toward human life and the ecology has brought God's judgment upon them.

GOD WARNS US ABOUT PEOPLE "WHO CALL EVIL GOOD AND GOOD EVIL"

God's Word warns us about those who, "call evil good and good evil". (Isaiah 5:20) Prophet Amos exhorted, "Seek good and hate evil". (Isaiah 5:14-15)  And Moses warned: "Thou shalt not follow a multitude to do EVIL".  (Exodus 23:2)

THE LORD'S PRAYER:  DELIVER US FROM EVIL

Jesus knew that we would be targeted by the "enemies of righteousness", who seek our destruction. Being in "all points tempted" like ourselves. He knew that we would be tempted, tried and buffeted by the flesh, the world and the devil.

He gave us 'His Model Prayer'; so that we would know how to pray and what to pray about, in order to receive strength from Almighty God!  Our Lord declared: "Even so every good tree bringeth forth good fruit; but a good tree cannot bring forth evil fruit, neither can a corrupt tree bring forth good fruit."

"Wherefore by their fruits ye shall know them." (Matthew 7:17-20)

Again Jesus stated: "For out of the heart proceed EVIL thoughts, murders, adulteries, fornications, thefts, false witness, blasphemies:" (Matthew 15:19)

10 YEAR OLD BOYS COMMITTING MURDER - NOW THAT IS EVIL

The tragic killing of two-year-old James Bulger in Liverpool, England a number of years ago by two ten-year old boys certainly tells us something about EVIL.

How the two boys could have conceived in their hearts to trick a little toddler -- who had walked away from his mother in a shopping mall - into accompanying them to his death is inconceivable! - Except for one thing ..

There is an EVIL DEVIL whose intent is to Steal, kill and Destroy! Satan is to blame!  But so are parents who refuse to serve God themselves, and have no regard for their children's spiritual upbringing.

And now, the golden text of the Bible: "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". (John 3:16)

Jesus said: "And this is the condemnation, that light is come into the world, and men loved darkness rather than light, because THEIR DEEDS WERE EVIL". (John 3:19)

He invites us all: "Come unto Me all ye that labour and are heavy laden and I will give you rest". (Matthew 11:28)

WE CAN NEVER BECOME GOOD ENOUGH, IN OUR OWN STRENGTH, TO PLEASE GOD OR BECOME RIGHTEOUS: ONLY THROUGH THE ALL-ATONING DEATH OF JESUS CHRIST ON THE CROSS FOR US, CAN WE ATTAIN RIGHTEOUSNESS OR GOODNESS.

The Bible says, "The blood of Jesus Christ, His Son, cleanseth us from all sin"! (1 John 1:7)

And St. Paul states: "If any man be in Christ Jesus, he is a new creature; old things are passed away, behold all things are become new". (2 Corinthians  5:17)

FOR BY GRACE ARE YE SAVED

"For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God; Not of works, lest any man should boast. For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus unto good works, which God hath before ordained that we should walk in them." (Ephesians 2:8-10)

"For unto us a child is born, unto us a Son is given...of the increase of His government and peace there shall be no end....with justice from henceforth even for ever." (Isaiah 9:6)

God is eternal and infinite.  He does not think with a finite mind as we do!  His thoughts and actions reflect His omnipotence, omniscience, omnipresence and eternalness.

God's plans and purposes for this universe and all of us, were formulated in His mind before He created the foundations of the world.

He cannot make a mistake, lie or be wrong in His intentions of deeds, for He is totally righteous, all knowing and all wise.

EVERYTHING GOD DOES IS FOR ETERNITY

He knows the future and sees the pitfalls and snares that await our stumbling feet.  And He helps us, protects us from the devil, the world and ourselves! In these the last days, the last days before Christ returns in the blessed Rapture, God is protecting his children from evil.

WHY ARE WE SO IMPORTANT TO GOD?

Firstly, we were made in His image.  Secondly, Jesus personally died for our sins and finally, through the new birth, we are a part of Him - his body.

The words, "there shall be no end" and "for ever", show the eternal purposes of God in the birth of Christ.  THE INCARNATION WAS SERIOUS STUFF.

The moment, of God the Son - wrapping Himself in human flesh - coming down to save us, was deliberately and perfectly timed and executed.

"But when the fullness of time was come, God sent His Son, made of a woman, made under the law, To redeem them that were under the law, that we might receive the adoption of sons." (Galatians 4:4-5)

This wasn't an after thought or a fill in.  The decision to send King Messiah to this earth, was communicated to Satan - the adversary - immediately after Adam and Eve's tragic fall.

"And I will put enmity between thee and the woman, and between thy seed and her seed; it shall bruise thy head and thou shall bruise His heel." (Genesis 3:15)

Here, God promises a "virgin born" savior (her seed), Who would conquer Satan through His substitutionary death.  In the process, the Savior would suffer a minor wound (bruise His heel), and Satan would be totally defeated (bruise his head).

Although Jesus suffered more than any man, was wounded and marred for our total salvation, it was minor because He laid down His life of His own free will. (John 10:15-18)

Satan could not take it from Him!  And He arose again on the third day, destroying Satan and his power over us!

"Forasmuch then as the children are partakers of flesh and blood, He also Himself likewise took part of the same; that through death He might destroy him that had the power of death, that is, the devil;" (Hebrews 2:14)

FROM THE INCARNATION TO THE RESURRECTION, AND THROUGHOUT THE 'GOSPEL AGE', GOD HAS CONTINUED THE EXECUTION OF HIS ETERNAL WILL, THROUGH HIS CHURCH, THE CALLED-OUT-ONES.

This is why it is so important that we live with "eternity in mind".  All our plans and goals should reflect this mind set, in our relationships to God, the Church - His body - and the world! We need to prepare, in these last days, for eternity, for Christ's return and to spend eternity in heaven with God.

Let us study the Word, pray, witness and give joyfully, to help build His eternal Kingdom.

Jesus said, "Except a man be born again, he cannot see the Kingdom of God.  Marvel not that I said unto thee, Ye must be born again." (John 3:3,7)

The Bible makes it clear that, "He who hath the Son hath everlasting life: and he who believeth not the Son shall not see life; but the wrath of God abideth on him." (John 3:36)

That means that all those who do not personally know Jesus Christ, must receive Him as Savior and Lord in order to be saved.

IS THERE A REAL HEAVEN & A REAL HELL

St. John emphasized:  "If we receive the witness of men, the witness of God is greater: for this is the witness of God which He hath testified of His Son.  He that believeth on the Son of God hath the witness in himself:  he that believeth not God hath made him a liar; because he believeth not the record that God gave His Son.  And this is the record, that God hath given to us eternal life, and this life is in His son.  He that hath the Son hath life; and he that hath not the Son of God, hath not life.  These things have I written unto you that believe on the name of the Son of God, that ye may know that ye have eternal life, and that ye may believe in the name of the Son of God." (I John 5:9-13)

HERE IS THE ABSOLUTE TRUTH - All who reject Jesus Christ and refuse to receive Him as Lord & Savior are calling Almighty God a LIAR, "because he believeth not the record that God gave of His Son." (I John 5:9-10)

Do you think for one moment that anyone will escape the judgment of God when they reject Jesus Christ - His gift to the world - and call Him a liar?

That is serious stuff, since He is the judge of the entire world!  How do you think an earthly judge would react if someone in his courtroom called him "a liar"?  He would immediately be guilty of 'contempt of court' of worse.

St. Paul puts it all in perspective when he says, "For if the word spoken by angels was steadfast, and every transgression and disobedience received a just recompense of reward; How shall we escape, if we neglect so great salvation; which at the first began to be spoken by the Lord, and was confirmed unto us by them that heard him." (Hebrews 2:2-3)

In the Apocalypse, St. John warns:  "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 Him that sat on it, from Whose face the earth and the heaven fled away; and there was found no place for them."

"And I saw the dead, small and great, stand before God; and the books were opened: and another book was opened, which is the book of life: and the dead were judged out of those things which were written in the books, according to their works."

And 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 whosoever was not found written in the book of life was cast into the lake of fire." (Revelation 20:10-15)

HERE IS THE GOOD NEWS

Jesus invites, "Come unto Me, all ye that labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest." (Matthew 11:28)

"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." (John 3:16)

May the Grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, the love of God the Father and the fellowship and communion of the Holy Spirit be with us all, both now and forevermore.

Editor's Note: This article was written in 1995, and in light of the very recent deliberate killings by an evil man in Edmonton, Alberta who steered his vehicle into a family of Muslim worshippers killing four and severely injuring a boy, proves that Satan is still doing his EVIL work through his disciples! How SAD that this happened in our city!

- Pastor Max Solbrekken, June 8, 2021