Sunday, October 31, 2021

 

 JESUS CHRIST: THE ABSOLUTE TRUTH

  By Pastor Max Solbrekken, D.D.

     Only in Jesus Christ do we find absolute truth. In Him ALONE there is no lying, hypocrisy, deceit or darkness. He alone is the ultimate Truth. In His High Priestly Prayer to His Father our Lord stated: "Sanctify them through Thy Truth. Thy Word is Truth." (John 17:  17)

    To His Disciples He declared, "I am the Way, the TRUTH and the Life: no man cometh unto the Father but by Me."(John 14:6). He said: "I and My Father are One." (John 10:30); "I came to do My Father's will." (John 6: 3)

   "...My Father worketh hitherto and I work. Therefore the Jews sought the more to kill Him, because He not only had broken the Sabbath, but He said also that God was His Father, making Himself equal with God.

    JESUS stated: "Verily, verily, I say unto you, The Son can do nothing of Himself, but what He seeth the Father do: for what things soever He doeth, these also doeth the Son likewise." (John 5: 17-20)

   "... When ye have lifted up the Son of Man, then shall ye know that I am HE, and the I do nothing of Myself; but as My Father hath taught Me, I speak these things. And He that sent Me is with Me: the Father hath not left me alone; for I do always those things that please Him." (John 8: 28, 29)

JESUS PROMISED THE HOLY SPIRIT!

    The Holy Spirit is called, "The Spirit of Truth." (John 14: 17). Speaking of the Holy Spirit, our Lord stated: "But when the Comforter is come, Whom I will send unto you from the Father, even the Spirit of Truth, which proceedeth from the Father, He shall testify of Me." (John 15: 26); "Howbeit when He, the Spirit of Truth is come, He will guide you into all Truth..." (John 16: 13)

  JAMES RUSSELL LOWELL wrote: "Once to every man and nation, comes the moment to decide. In the strife of Truth and Falsehood, For the Good or Evil side." 

    About 65 years ago I memorized a poem written by British poet William Dunkerley,  under the pseudonym of John Oxenham.  Hundreds of times during the last half century, I have quoted it in my sermons. It is called 'The Way'. May the message penetrate your heart as it has mine!

      

        To every man there openeth

        A Way, and Ways, and a Way,

        And the High Soul climbs the High Way,

        And the Low Soul gropes the Low,

        And in between, on the misty flats,

         The rest drift to and fro.

         But to every man there openeth

         A High Way, and a Low.

         And every man decideth,

          The way His soul shall go.

 

     When you tell people that there is only ONE way to God and Heaven, they often react negatively. Many want to do their own thing, go their own way and leave everything to chance. After all, if everything we see evolved from nothing as the pinhead evolutionists preach, then there is nothing to fear.

    If there is no God, then there are no laws that must be obeyed and no punishment for wrong doing, they erroneously assume! If there is no authoritative figure called God, Maker of Heaven and earth, then there is No-one to give an account to. We may as well then do as the Scripture says of the rebellious man, "Eat, drink and be merry." (Eccl.8:15)

  When you confront people because of their sins of unbelief, unrighteousness, lust, greed, pride, hatred and jealousy, they get on their 'high horse' saying, "We will not have this Man to rule over us." (Luke 19: 14). When told that we ought to help the poor, lift up the fallen and bring the gospel to the lost, they often answer like Cain: "Am I my brother's keeper?” (Gen.4:9)

WHY DO PEOPLE REJECT

THE BIBLE AND CHRIST?

    Why would anyone in their right mind reject God's Holy Word? How could anyone, of even limited understanding, reject the liberating Gospel of God's grace and love to fallen, degenerate and undeserving sinful man? And what would make human beings who were created in God's image, become so stupid that they would reject the world's Redeemer and Emancipator, our Lord Jesus Christ, and cling to Satan, the Cosmic Liar?

  THE ANSWER: After more than fifty years of intense Bible study, observing human nature, current events, and having preached the Gospel of Christ and ministered His saving and healing power to multitudes across the world, here is a concise answer to the three questions posed!

1).They love their sins and refuse to give up their ungodly lifestyles!

   "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)

2). They have been enticed, deceived and snared by the devil, who is the Father of Lies, deception and spiritual death!

   "In meekness instructing those that oppose themselves; if God peradventure will give them repentance to the acknowledging of the truth; And that they may recover themselves out of the snare of the devil, who are taken captive by him at his will." (2 Tim.2: 25, 26)

3). If they admit that the Bible is God’s Word and that there is a Day of Judgment for sinners, they would have to repent of their sins and receive Jesus Christ as Lord and Saviour!

   "For everyone that doeth evil hates the light, neither comes to the light, lest his deeds should be reproved. But he that doeth truth comes to the light that his deeds may be made manifest, that they are wrought in God." (John 3:20, 21)

     The basic flaw in the ‘Theory of Evolution’ is, that they can "strut their stuff" and at least until the 'angel of death' comes calling, they can have a feeling of superiority. It's called the 'escape from God' factor. 

     Professor D.M.S. Watson's address to the British Association of Scientists gave support to this same 'foolosophy'. He flatly stated that the reason for the "universal acceptance of evolution" among his peers of atheistic scientists, was that the Biblical account of "special creation is the only alternative". He called the Bible account of creation as "clearly incredible", meaning it is unbelievable.

           BRILLIANT MINDS BLINDED BY SATAN!

     What keeps these seemingly brilliant minds from believing the only plausible answer to the questions of creation, life, death and eternity? 

      The ANSWER is that there is a lying devil who "has blinded the minds" of those who refuse to believe the truth and have rejected Christ and is glorious Gospel! (2 Cor.4: 3, 4; Rom.1: 18-22)

   St. Paul, one of the most brilliant minds of the First Century, who met the resurrected Lord Jesus on the Damascus Road, addressed this phenomenon. He stated that they had been "taken captive" by the Evil One and are slaves to his deception, lies and downright stupidity! (2 Tim.2: 26)

    No wonder than that King David stated: "The fool hath said in his heart, there is no God." (Ps.14: 1). The Hebrew meaning of the word fool as used here is that of an idiot or insane person. He implied that you cannot blame an idiot for saying that there is no God. He doesn't know any better!

    VLADIMIR LENIN, the father of Soviet Communism stated: "Religion is the opiate of the people. There is no God, but woe unto us Communists if there is one."  He died in January 1924, aged 53, after suffering three strokes leaving him paralyzed and dumb. The Soviets covered up his erratic, manic behaviour, his bouts of rage and his untimely death.

    Miss Rappaport, an expert on Russian history has uncovered the medical records of his death from syphilis! She makes her claim in a new book "Conspirator: Lenin in Exile". That shouldn't surprise us, should it?

           TOILED ALL NIGHT: TAKEN NOTHING!

 CLARENCE DARROW, famed atheist and criminal lawyer and winner in the Scopes - Monkey Trial in 1925, that opened the flood gates of the teaching of the 'Ape - Doctrine' in U.S. Schools, at the end of his life, stated: "My colleagues say that I am a success. Many honors have come my way, but in the Bible is a sentence which expresses the way I feel about my life: "We have toiled all night and taken nothing." 

     HOW SAD! In the end, the brilliant atheist had to use a passage from the Holy Bible - which will be opened at the Judgment - to express the emptiness of the evolutionary, atheistic teaching he had helped to promote!

     The fact of the matter is that they would rather believe a lie, in order to somehow escape the truth that God exists and demands an accounting of our lives! They have convinced themselves that they are as good as their neighbour and that if there really is God, He is good, charitable and kind and would never judge anyone to Hell for their sins.

      After all, they didn't ask to be born, had no part of Adam's sin and its damming influence on us all, including our eternal abode! They live in a dream world that everything will turn out alright in the end. And after all, their parents may have brought them to church as a baby and had them christened or sprinkled.

       SOLUTION TO THE SIN PROBLEM!

   We often hear people talk about drug problem, the alcohol problem, the gambling problem, the crime problem and the racism problem. What we really have is a SIN PROBLEM and the drug, alcohol, gambling, crime and racism problems disappear when the Gospel of Jesus Christ is invited to function in the hearts and lives of the people!

    The Bible says: "Come now, and let us reason together, saith the Lord: though your sins be as scarlet, they shall be as white as snow; though they be red like crimson, they shall be as wool." (Is.1:18)

     "Seek ye the Lord while He may be found, call ye upon Him while He is near. 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 and He will abundantly pardon." (Is. 55:1, 6, 7)

     THE BIG QUESTION: How did we get into this situation? What drove us away from the sanctuary of God's presence? Why did we get estranged from our Heavenly Father and God? And how do we get back into His Eternal Kingdom? And will He receive us as we are?

     The answer is that we were, "born in sin and shapen in iniquity" (Ps.51: 5). We are sinners by birth, by nature and by choice: "Wherein in time past, ye walked according to the course of this world, according to the prince of the power of the air, the spirit that now works in the children of disobedience. (Eph.2: 2; Gal.5: 10-21)

        HE WILL RECEIVE US BACK AGAIN!

   "Among whom also we all had our conversation in times past in the lusts of our flesh, fulfilling the desires of the flesh and of the mind: and were by Nature the children of wrath, even as others.      

   "But God, Who is rich in mercy, or His great love with which He loved us, even when we were dead in sins, hath quickened us together with Christ (by grace are ye saved); and hath raised us up together, and made us sit together in Heavenly places in Christ Jesus." (Eph. 3-6)

   The GOOD NEWS is that even though we may have drifted away from Him, we can be forgiven, healed and liberated by God's Divine love and power: "All have sinned and come short of the glory of God." (Rom.3:23);

    "The wages of sin is death but the gift of God is eternal life, through Jesus Christ our Lord." (Rom. 6: 23); "He that believeth on the Son hath everlasting life; and he that believeth not the Son shall not see life, but the wrath of God abides on Him." (John 3: 36)

    God is merciful, gracious and loving: "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)

    It is TRUE that sin had its grip on us all and we were on our way to a Christ-less Eternity, but God in His great mercy and love redeemed us by His precious blood that He shed on Golgotha. To receive His forgiveness and mercy, however, we must repent of our sins and by His grace receive His pardon.

   It is also true that all those who spurn and reject His offer of love will be forever left outside to meet God's judgment. If His mercy is spurned and rejected there will be nothing left but judgment!

    He is the God of mercy, but when He comes again, He will come to judge the Living and the Dead.” (1 Peter 4: 5); "I charge thee therefore before God, and the Lord Jesus Christ, Who shall judge the quick (living) and the dead at His appearing and His Kingdom.” (2 Tim.4: 1)

    St. Paul admonished Timothy: "Preach the Word; be instant in season and out of season; reprove, rebuke, exhort with all long suffering and doctrine. For the time will come that they will not endure sound doctrine; but after their own lusts shall they heap to themselves teachers having itching ears; And they shall turn away their ears from the truth and shall be turned unto fables." (2 Tim.4: 2-4)

                JESUS CHRIST SAYS: BE YE READY!

    Jesus warns: "Verily, verily I say unto you, He that heareth My Word, and believeth on Him that sent Me, hath everlasting life, and shall not come into condemnation: but is passed from death unto life.

    “Verily, verily I say unto you, the hour is coming, and now is, when the dead (spiritually dead) shall hear the voice of the Son of God; and they that hear shall live." (John 5:24, 25)

   Our LORD is inviting all sinners who are "dead in their trespasses" to hear His voice and be saved for time and eternity! If however, they do not respond, they will be in the Second Group who will hear His voice and come out of their graves and face the Judge of the Entire Earth.

    Here is His WARNING: "Marvel not at this for the Hour is Coming in the which all that are in the graves shall HEAR His Voice, and shall come forth; they that have done good, unto the resurrection of life; and they that have done evil unto the resurrection of damnation." (John 5:28, 29)

      Jesus said: “All that the Father giveth Me shall come to Me; and him that cometh unto Me I will in no wise cast out." (John 6: 37). 

     "Behold, I stand at the door (your heart's door), and KNOCK: if any man hear My voice, and open the door, I will come in to Him and will sup with Him, and he with Me." (Rev.3: 20). Amen.

Wednesday, October 27, 2021

                         

THE BAPTISM OF THE 

HOLY SPIRIT: IS IT REAL?

By Evangelist Emil Solbrekken

                                    CHAPTER ONE

I was twenty years old when the message of the Baptism of the Holy Ghost and fire came to me. I'll be eternally grateful to God that I didn't reject the message, but that I accepted it and was filled with the Holy Spirit.

At that time I was working in Calgary, Alberta. I started attending a church where they preached and believed in being filled with the Holy Spirit, just like in Bible times. To my surprise, here were people from different denominations seeking God, wanting to receive this experience. And my, how the presence of God was manifested service after service!

I remember the first time I heard someone speak with tongues. As the people lifted their hands toward heaven and worshipped God, a woman stood up and began speaking fluently with great power and anointing in a language I didn't understand. When she finished, the interpretation was given in English. This was the very first time I had ever heard anyone speak with tongues. It was all new to me. I didn't know anything about it. I didn't under- stand it. BUT, I'LL TELL YOU ONE THING, I KNEW GOD WAS IN THAT PLACE! I could feel His divine presence all around me.

In this church, there was GREAT BIBLE PREACHING that resulted in conviction and repentance of sin, and many a sinner walked down the aisle and knelt at the altar to give his heart and life to God. When the invitation was given for believers to come and seek the Lord, I saw teenagers and young people flock to the altar and prayer rooms, get down on their knees before God, raise their hands toward heaven and start to worship and praise the Living Christ.

As I watched, I saw the glory of God come upon their faces and they would begin to shake and tremble under the mighty power of the Holy Spirit. One by one they would be filled with the Holy Ghost and begin to speak in an unknown language and magnify God. 

THIS WAS REAL. THIS WAS SOMETHING I HAD NEVER SEEN BEFORE.

Young people and older folk alike all on fire for God. In other denominational churches I had attended, the young people and many of the older ones as well, didn't seem to have too much zeal toward God. But here it was different, because the Holy Spirit was present in such a marvellous way.

As I saw all this, I BEGAN TO GET HUNGRY FOR GOD, I WANTED WHAT THESE PEOPLE WERE RECEIVING!  I was a Christian. I had received Christ as my Saviour. I knew my sins were forgiven. I had peace with God, BUT WAS THIS EXPERIENCE OF BEING FI LLED WITH THE HOL Y GHOST AND FIRE FOR ME, a Lutheran?

I started to seek the Lord. I became hungry for God as never before. I took my Bible and spent hours searching the scriptures, and want to share with you some of the things I found that convinced me beyond a shadow of a doubt THAT I REALLY NEEDED THIS EXPERIENCE WITH GOD!

WE WERE LUTHERAN

I was brought up in the Lutheran faith. Mom and Dad came to Canada from Norway in 1927. There the state religion was Lutheran. Hundreds of years back, our relatives had been Lutheran.

The Lutherans were strong believers in the Salvation experience. They believed that a person had to be saved if he was ever going to see inside the pearly gates of heaven. If a person was not born again and died in his sins, he would end up in hell and the lake of fire forever.

The central theme of their message was the same as what Martin Luther had proclaimed during the 16th century, which was "JUSTIFICATION BY FAITH." If a man or women, boy or girl had faith in Christ as Saviour, they would be born again. Their sins would be forgiven. They would be justified in the sight of God.

But they didn't stop there. They also believed in holiness. They believed that if a person had been converted, his life would be changed. 2 Cor. 5:17 says "If any man be in Christ, he is a new creature. OLD THINGS ARE PASSED AWAY: behold all things are become new." If a person used to smoke, drink, curse and steal, he would stop doing those things when he got saved. And by the grace of God he would start living a clean life.

Ever since I was a child, I grew up with faith in Christ within my heart. I loved God and knew Jesus Christ as my personal Saviour. BUT, THERE WAS ONE THING THAT WAS VERY SADLY LACKING IN THE OLD LUTHERAN CHURCH - IT WAS THE BAPTISM OF THE HOLY GHOST AND FIRE!

The preachers didn't preach it. They knew nothing about it. WE KNEW ABSOLUTELY NOTHING ABOUT THIS EXPERIENCE! We didn't know that a believer could be filled with the Holy Ghost and RECEIVE POWER FROM GOD to live a constant victorious Christian life and become a real witness for Jesus Christ. Anybody who has studied the New Testament and especially the Book of Acts will notice:

1. THE EARLY CHRISTIANS HAD SOMETHING FROM GOD THAT A GREAT NUMBER OF BORN AGAIN CHRISTIANS TODAY DON'T HAVE.

2. THE EARLY CHRISTIANS HAD TWO DISTINCT, SEPARATE EXPERIENCES WITH GOD. FIRST -THEY WERE SAVED. SECOND -THEY WERE FI LLED WITH THE HOL Y GHOST.

YE SHALL RECEIVE POWER

Jesus told His disciples, "Tarry ye in the city of Jerusalem, UNTIL YE BE ENDUED WITH POWER FROM ON HIGH," (Luke 24:49) and "YE SHALL RECEIVE POWER after that the Holy Ghost is come upon you: AND YE SHALL BE WITNESSES UNTO ME." (Acts 1: 8)

Every Christian needs to be endued , to be "clothed upon" with this supernatural power from heaven, and to receive this anointing that breaks the yoke of sin, ( Isaiah 1: 27) lifts the burden and lets the oppressed go totally free. (Luke 4: 18)

You must remember that GOD HAS NOT CHANGED, HIS WORD IS THE VERY SAME, AND HIS POWER HAS NOT DIMINISHED. For Jesus Christ is the same yesterday, and today and forever. {Heb. 13:8)  When a sinner TODAY repents of his sins, gets genuinely saved - he receives the SAME SALVATION the early church experienced, including the joy of sins forgiven, and the peace of soul and mind.

When a born again Christian TODAY is filled with the blessed Holy Spirit, he receives the SAME HOLY SPIRIT, he receives the same powerful experience, with the same outward evidence that the early church received, including the same power and victory over sin!

The Apostle Peter declared that THIS SALVATION WITH THE HOLY GHOST SENT DOWN FROM HEAVEN is so wonderful the very angels of God would like to look into it and have a taste of it, if that were possible. (I Peter 1: 10 -12) But praise God, it was reserved for us who are the heirs of salvation!

The Bible tells us that when Jesus was here on this earth, toward the end of His ministry, He started to prepare His disciples for His going away.

JESUS WAS ABOUT TO LEAVE

He had been with them for approximately 3 years. They had walked and talked with the Son of God. They had seen Him as He was moved with compassion on the multitudes. They had heard Him preach to the people. They had seen Him forgive the sinful, heal the sick and tormented, cleanse the leper and even raise the dead! He had sent them out across Palestine to do the same. They had relied on Him. He was their leader. He was their master.

When the seventy returned after they had been out preaching the gospel, they came back to Jesus and said, "Lord, even the devils are subject unto us THROUGH THY NAME." (Luke 1: 17) They had preached in His name. They had driven out devils in His name. They had learned to depend on Him, to bank on Him, and to fully trust in Him. He was their comforter when He was here on earth.

ANOTHER COMFORTER

And now He said, “I'm going away, BUT I WILL SEND YOU ANOTHER COMFORTER, THE HOLY SPIRIT." (John 14:16; 15:26) He will take My place here on earth. HE WILL DO MY WORK FOR METhen you will have to learn to depend on Him. You will have to learn to rely on Him.

And He, the Holy Spirit will guide you, and teach you, and lead you into all truth. Jesus said, THE HOL Y SPIRIT SHALL T AKE OF MINE AND SHALL SHEW IT UNTO YOU: HE SHALL BRING GLORY TO MY NAME AND SHEW YOU THINGS TO COME. (John 16:13. 15) It is the Divine Holy Spirit of God that CONVI'CTS men and women and boys and girls of their sin and DRAWS THEM TO CHRIST FOR SALVATION.

Sometime ago I was talking with a man from a denominational church -a real born-again Christian. I was telling him about the Baptism of the Holy Ghost and how Lutherans, Baptists, United Church, Roman Catholics, and people from all the different denominations are receiving the Holy Ghost across the World.

He turned to me and asked, "Can the unsaved receive the Holy Spirit?" I said, "No, the unsaved cannot receive the Holy Ghost, and I showed him the Scripture in John 14: 16, 17 where Jesus said, "I will pray the Father and He shall give you another comforter. EVEN THE SPIRIT OF TR UTH, WHOM THE WORLD CANNOT RECEIVE, because it seeth Him not, neither knoweth Him." Then he mentioned a certain denomination and said, “How can they receive the Holy Ghost?" 

I answered, “lt is the born again Lutheran, the born again Roman Catholic, the born again Baptist who can receive the Holy Ghost. You've got to be saved first - THE HOLY SPIRIT WON'T ENTER AN UNCLEAN VESSEL! When your sins have been washed away with Jesus precious blood, then you can receive the Holy Ghost REGARDLESS OF WHAT CHURCH YOU BELONG TO!"

 Jesus had prepared His disciples for what was about to happen. And just like He had told them, the chief priests, scribes and elders, the religious people turned against Him. They caused Him to be put to death on the cross of Calvary. He was buried in a borrowed tomb. But praise God, early in the morning on the THIRD DAY, Jesus Christ rose bodily from the dead, triumphant over death, hell, and the grave. After His resurrection He was seen of His disciples for forty days.

CHRIST'S LAST COMMAND

One day as the. disciples were gathered together on Mount Olivet, Jesus stood in their midst and COMMANDED THEM NOT TO DEPART FROM JERUSALEM BUT TO WAIT FOR THE PROMISE OF THE FATHER. He said, "John truly baptized with water: but ye shall be baptized with the Holy Ghost NOT MANY DAYS HENCE.”- in just a few days. (Acts 1:4, 5) And when this happens you will be endued with power from heaven and you will be My witnesses. (Luke 24: 49; and Acts 1: 8) You see, the Baptism of the Holy Ghost was THE PROMISE OF THE FATHER.

Some 800 years before, the Spirit of God came upon Joel the prophet one day, and he prophesied that in the last days God would pour out of His Spirit upon all flesh, (Joel 2: 28 -32), and now that prophesy was about to be fulfilled. As Jesus finished His instruction to His followers, while they beheld Him, He was taken up into Heaven out of their sight and was seated at the right hand of God the Father Almighty.

CHAPTER TWO

HOW THE EARLY CHURCH RECEIVED THE HOLY GHOST

Let us now turn to the Book of Acts and see HOW the early church received the Holy Ghost and see WHAT they experienced. 

PENTECOST- Year 33 A.D 

In obedience to Christ's last command, His followers went back to Jerusalem and entered into an upper room. There Mary, the mother of Jesus, Peter, James and John with the other disciples, numbering together approximately 120 tarried in prayer and supplication. They were preparing themselves, waiting for the blessed Holy Spirit to come.

On the morning of the 10th day, all of a sudden there came a mighty rushing sound from Heaven like a strong, great wind. It came down over Jerusalem. It bypassed the synagogue and all the religious leaders. IT ENTERED THE UPPER ROOM, where the disciples were gathered. It filled the whole house. Tongues of fire appeared in the air and settled down upon each one of them. AND AT THAT MOMENT EVERYONE IN THE UPPER ROOM WAS FILLED WITH THE HOLY GHOST and began to speak in different tongues -languages they had never learned! (Acts 2: 1 -4)

Oh, thank God, the blessed Comforter had come! He came on the day of Pentecost. Pentecost was an Old Testament Feast Day which marked the completion of the wheat harvest. People would gather from all the different nations at Jerusalem, to worship and praise God.

Now, when this great mighty rushing sound came down over Jerusalem the people in the city heard it and a multitude gathered. They wanted to see what was happening in the upper room. The disciples rushed down into the streets, SPEAKING IN THE DIFFERENT LANGUAGES OF ALL THE FOREIGN PEOPLE WHO WERE PRESENT. They were telling the people about the wonderful works of God, what God had done, what God was doing, and what God was about to do. (Acts 2: 11)

The multitude was amazed and marvelled. They could not understand it! How could these uneducated Galileans speak in their foreign languages perfectly and fluently? They said one to another, "What does this mean?" (Acts 2:12) Others mockingly said, "These men are nothing but a bunch of drunks."

That's when Peter stood up and began to preach to the great crowd that had gathered. He said, "We are not drunken, as some of you suppose, for it is still only nine o'clock in the morning!

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 PROPHECY, AND YOUR YOUNG MEN SHALL SEE VISIONS AND YOUR OLD MEN SHALL DREAM DREAMS. AND ON MY SER- V ANTS AND ON MY HANDMAIDENS I WILL POUR OUT IN THOSE DAYS OF MY SPIRIT, AND THEY SHALL PROPHESY.”  (Acts 2: 16 -18) "AND IT SHALL COME TO PASS, THAT WHOSOEVER SHALL CALL ON THE NAME OF THE LORD SHALL BE SAVED. “ (Acts 2:21)

PETER'S PENTECOSTAL SERMON

And he went on to tell them how Jesus had been crucified and how God had raised Him up. "Therefore being by the right hand of God, exalted and having received of the Father, the promise of the Holy Ghost, HE HATH SHED FORTH THIS, which ye now SEE and HEAR." (Acts 2: 33)

He said, "I want you all to know, that God hath made that SAME JESUS, whom ye have crucified, both Lord and Christ." (Acts 2: 36)

When the people heard this, they were pricked in their hearts. The Holy Spirit began to convict them of their sin. They asked Peter and the other apostles, "What shall we do to be saved?"

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 THA T ARE AFAR OFF." (Acts 2:38, 39) My friend, this includes YOU! You can receive the Holy ‘Spirit of Promise’ if you will be obedient to God's Word, as He is given to them that OBEY GOD. (Acts 5:22)

As a result of the outpouring of the Holy Ghost, and the disciples receiving this mighty experience with God, they were able to lead 3.000 lost souls to Christ that very day .And this was just the beginning! Now let us continue through the Book of Acts and you will see HOW BELIEVERS were filled with the Holy Ghost, WHEREVER THE REAL GOSPEL OF JESUS CHRIST WAS PREACHED:

God was moving in a mighty manner after the Day of Pentecost. Multitudes were being saved and filled with the Holy Ghost. Great and mighty miracles and powerful signs, wonders were taking place all throughout Jerusalem. This was just too much for the religious people the scribes, elders and chief priests. They became jealous. They tried all they could to stop the move of God's spirit.

As a result, they stoned Stephen and A GREAT PERSECUTION arose against the church at Jerusalem. The Christians were scattered abroad throughout all Judea and Samaria, AND THEY WENT EVERYWHERE PREACHING THE WORD.

SAMARIA- YEAR 34 A.D. One Year After Pentecost

Philip, the evangelist, one of the great soul winners of the early church, went down to the city of Samaria and PREACHED CHRIST UNTO THEM. As he preached against sin, idolatry and witchcraft, the people with ONE ACCORD GAVE HEED to Philip's message WHEN THEY HEARD AND SAW THE MIRACLES WHICH HE DID. For unclean spirits came screaming with a loud voice out of those who were possessed by them, and those taken with palsy, the lame and crippled were healed miraculously.

In this city there was a man called Simon, who was a Sorcerer. He practised witchcraft and black magic. He was a devil worshipper, and through deception and trickery had deceived the people. WHEN PHILIP, HOWEVER, CAME preaching the gospel of Jesus Christ - the Son of God - telling them of THE ONE WHO CAN SAVE TO THE UTTERMOST, the people BELIEVED his message. They repented of their sins and were saved!

The Bible records, "But when they BELIEVED Philip preaching the things concerning the kingdom of God, and the name of Jesus Christ, they were baptized, both l1zen and women.(Acts 8:12)  When the news of this revival in Samaria reached Jerusalem, the Apostles sent Peter and John unto them; "Who when they were come down, prayed for them (they prayed for the new converts) THAT THEY MIGHT RECEIVE THE HOLY GHOST: " (Acts 8: 15)

We notice here that these Samaritan people BELIEVED IN CHRIST and had been baptized in water, (Acts 8: 12, 16) yet not one of them had received the Holy Ghost, "For as yet the Holy Ghost was fallen upon none of them! " (Acts 8: 16)

The Bible says, ‘THE HOLY GHOST HAD NOT YET FALLEN UPON THEM. My friend, when a rain shower passes over your home, if you walk out your front door into that rain and let the rain fall upon you, YOU WILL FEEL IT. If you have a normal body, there is feeling in your body, and you will feel the rain FALL upon you and your whole body will get soaking wet if you stay outside long enough!

Likewise, when the Holy Ghost, the wonderful Spirit of God COMES UPON or FALLS UPON an individual, that person's whole being is flooded with God's power and presence, and God's love comes flowing into that person's soul. It makes you want to seek God - to love and worship Jesus, to uplift and glorify the Lord and to magnify His Holy name. It gives you a great desire to read and to obey God's Word. Yes, it's this power, this anointing, this presence of God that gives believers ability in their lives to stand true to God in this wicked and sinful world.

Then, the Bible says Peter and John LAID their hands on them, and THEY RECEIVED THE HOLY GHOST. And when Simon, the sorcerer, SAW that through the laying on of the apostle's hands THE HOLY GHOST WAS GIVEN, he offered them money saying, "give me also this power, that on whom soever I lay hands, he may receive the Holy Ghost." (Acts 8: 17- 19)

How did Simon, the sorcerer, know that these Samaritan Christians had received the Holy Spirit? It says, "WHEN SIMON SAW." What was it that Simon saw? Something VERY SUPERNATURAL AND OUTSTANDING must have happened, that would make him desire to receive the power to lay hands on people so they too would receive the same experience.

Also, how did Peter and John know that they had received the Holy Ghost? I believe there is ONLY ONE POSSIBLE ANSWER -the same way that Peter knew that Cornelius household had received the Holy Spirit in (Acts 10:46), "For they heard them SPEAK WITH TONGUES, and magnify God. "

Next, let us turn to (Acts 9:1 - 20) where is:

PAUL'S EXPERIENCE - 34 A.D One Year after Pentecost!

Saul, the havoc making persecutor of the early church, who later became the great Apostle Paul, was on his way to Damascus, to further carry out his wicked task of destroying the early Christians when God stopped him in his tracks.

Suddenly, Jesus appeared unto him in a great light from heaven, saying, "Saul, Saul, why persecutest thou Me?" And Saul said, "Who art thou, Lord?" The Lord said, "I am Jesus whom thou persecutest." Saul answered, "LORD, what wilt thou have me to do?" (Acts 9:6) Right there on the Damascus road when he met Jesus, Saul's heart was changed and he accepted Christ as his Lord!

When Saul arose from the earth he saw no man, but was led by the hand into Damascus and he stayed there sightless for 3 days. Then the Lord spoke unto a man named Ananias and said unto him, " Arise, and go into the street which is called Straight, and enquire in the house of Judas for one called Saul of Tarsus: FOR, BEHOLD HE PRAYETH." (Acts 9:11)

"And Ananias went his way, and entered into the house; and putting his hands on him said, BROTHER SAUL (Saul was already a saved man. Ananias called him brother) Brother Saul the Lord, even Jesus, that appeared unto thee in the way as thou camest, hath sent me, that thou mightest receive thy sight, and BE FILLED WITH THE HOLY GHOST." (Acts 9:17). Here, we see that Saul had been saved only a short while when Jesus sent unto him Ananias - not one of the apostle -  but an ordinary believer to lay hands on him so he would receive sight, and be filled with the Holy Ghost!

CORNELIUS’ HOUSEHOLD – A.D. 41 - 8 years after Pentecost

He saw in a vision evidently about the ninth hour of day an angel of God coming in to him, and saying unto him, Cornelius. And when he looked on him, he was afraid, and said, What is it Lord? And he said unto him, Thy prayers and thine alms are come up for a memorial before God. And now send men to Joppa, and call for one Simon whose surname is Peter." (Acts 10:3 -5) "Who shall tell thee words, whereby thou and all thy house SHALL BE SAVED." (Acts 11: 14)

Immediately, Cornelius sent his servants to Joppa. As they drew nigh unto the city, God spoke to Peter and said unto him, "Behold, three men seek thee. Arise therefore, and get thee down, and go with them, doubting nothing: for J have sent them." (Acts 1 0: 19, 20)

Up until this time, the apostles did not know that the Gentiles could be saved, and it was also unlawful for a Jew to keep company with a Gentile. Therefore, Peter took with him six Jewish believers, and when they arrived at Cornelius' house found that he had called together many of his kinsmen and near friends. (Acts 10: 24)

Then Peter opened h is mouth and told them "How God ANOINTED Jesus of Nazareth with the HOLY GHOST and with POWER; who went about doing good, and healing all that were oppressed of the devil." (Acts 10: 38). And how He had been crucified and raised up the third day, "To Him give all the prophets witness, that through His name WHOSOEVER BELIEVETH IN HIM SHALL RECEIVE REMISSION OF SINS.

While Peter yet spake these words, THE HOLY GHOST FELL ON ALL them which heard the word. And they of the circumcision which believed (that's the Jewish believers) were astonished, as many as came with Peter, because that on the Gentiles also was poured out the gift of the Holy Ghost. For they heard them SPEAK WITH TONGUES, and magnify God." (Acts 10:43- 46)

These Gentiles ALL BELIEVED Peter's preaching. "That through Jesus' name whosoever believeth in Him shall receive remission of sins." (Acts 10:43) Instantly God purified their hearts by faith. (Acts 15:8, 9) The, while Peter was yet speaking THEY WERE ALL FILLED WITH THE HOLY GHOST, and began to SPEAK WITH TONGUES and magnified God.

Then answered Peter, "Can any man forbid water, that these should not be baptized which have received the Holy Ghost as well as we?" (Acts 10: 47) But how did Peter and the six Jewish believers that came with him from Joppa know that these Gentiles had received the Holy Spirit? "For (BECAUSE) they heard them SPEAK WITH TONGUES and GOD MAGNIFY." (Acts 10:46)

This sign of speaking with tongues ABSOLUTLEY CONVINCED Peter and his Jewish friends that the Gentiles had received the Holy Ghost. Also, when Peter made his defence for going to the Gentiles - before the apostles and brethren that were in Jud├Ža - Peter said, "THE HOLY GHOST FELL ON THEM, AS ON US AT THE BEGINNING." (Acts 11: 15) "Forasmuch then God gave them the LIKE GIFT as he did unto us, who believed on the Lord Jesus Christ, WHAT WAS I, THAT I COULD WITHSTAND GOD?" (Acts 11: 17)

When the apostles and brethren heard what had happened, it FULLY CONVINCED them also that the Gentiles had received the Holy Ghost; and that God had granted them REPENTANCE UNTO LIFE. (Acts 11:18)

The last recorded place in the Book of Acts where believers received the Baptism of the Holy Spirit, is in Chapter 19 verses 1 -6. Here, we find that in the year 56 A.D. God was still filling obedient believers with the Holy Ghost and fire. And praise God, His Spirit IS STI LL BEING POURED OUT TODAY upon thousands and thousands of believers around the world of practically every denomination, kindred, people, nation and tongue. God loves everybody alike and is LONGING for you to receive this blessed experience, that YOU TOO will love and worship Him more and more, for this wonderful salvation that He hath provided for the children of men.

THE 12 DISCIPLES AT EPHESUS - 56 A.D.  23 Years after Pentecost.

Wherever Paul went, he always preached the FULL GOSPEL and kept back nothing from the people that was profitable for them. (Acts 20:20) He said, "I have not shunned to declare unto you ALL THE COUNCIL OF GOD." (Acts 20:2])

As this humble servant of Christ was on one of his missionary journeys, he came to Ephesus: "And finding certain DISCIPLES, He said unto them, HAVE YE RECEIVED THE HOLY GHOST SINCE YE BELIEVED? And they said unto him, We have not so much as heard whether there be any Holy Ghost. And he said unto them, Unto what then were ye baptized? And they said, Unto John's baptism." Mark 1 :4 tells us, "John did baptize in the wilderness, and preach the baptism of repentance FOR THE REMISSION OF SINS."

Then said Paul, "John verily baptized with the baptism of repentance, saying unto the people, that they should believe on Him which should come after him, that is, on Christ Jesus. When they heard this, they were baptized in the name of the Lord Jesus. And when Paul had laid his hands upon them, the HOLY GHOST CAME ON THEM; and THEY SPAKE WITH TONGUES, and prophesied." (Acts 19: 1 -6)

We notice here that these twelve Ephesians were born-again Christians; in verse one they are called DISCIPLES, verse two calls them BELIEVERS, they had been baptized with the baptism of repentance, FOR THE REMISSION OF THEIR SINS. {Mark 1:4). Therefore, they were genuinely saved with their sins forgiven.

 

When Paul came, he asked them saying, "Have ye received the Holy Ghost SINCE (AFTER) ye believed? {Acts 19: 22) They answered and said, "We have not so much as heard whether there be any Holy Ghost." Many born- again Christians today are in the very same situation. They know absolutely nothing about the Baptism of the Holy Spirit, and that this WONDERFUL EXPERIENCE WITH GOD is for them personally.

 

These Ephesian Christians were baptized in water, YET NOT ONE of them received the Holy Ghost UNTIL PAUL LAID HIS HANDS UPON THEM. THEN THE HOLY GHOST CAME ON THEM, AND THEY SPAKE WITH TONGUES and prophesied. (Acts 19: 6)

 

Christian friend, have you RECEIVED the Holy Ghost SINCE you believed the gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ? Remember, the Baptism of the Holy Ghost is for the believer. Christ died to provide it. God wants you to have it. And it is up to you to receive this marvellous experience! Amen.                                                            

 SPRINGS OF LIVING WATERS CHRISTAN MINISTRIES

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Evangelists Emil & Jane Solbrekken