FOR JESUS OR AGAINST HIM
by Pastor Max Solbrekken, D.D.
I have decided to follow Jesus. I have decided to follow Jesus. No turning back, no turning back! The cross before me, the world behind me. The cross before me, the world behind me. No turning back, no turning back! Though none go with me, still I will follow. Though none go with me still I will follow. No turning back, no turning back!
There is steel in those words. There is resolve in that statement. There is a challenge in that confession! And there is victory in that old Gospel song! You can sense Jesus Christ, St. Paul, and Martin Luther in that powerful testimony!
As children in our Lutheran Church’s vacation Bible School, it became our standard. It was a declaration of our faith in God and of the great sacrifice the Creator made when He sent Jesus Christ to this evil wicked world to rescue lost souls from Satan the enemy of God and man!
There are two sides to every argument, two stories to every incident and two sides to every coin - the head side and the tail side! Often, we hear great success stories that are upbeat, effervescent, encouraging and with happy endings.
And that is great! We should hear more stories like that, and I pray that we will. On the other hand, however, we are well aware of the great numbers of people who have NO success story, NO glowing testimony, and NO happy ending. Their lives are filled with fear, depression, poverty, confusion, and unpleasantness.
For a great number of people there is no knight in shining armour, no true to life Cinderella and very little to look forward to! The pain that the sick must endure, the lack of amenities that the poor must suffer and the absence of hope that millions are deprived of as they languish in prison cells and concentration camps is deplorable indeed, to say nothing of those who live in war torn countries!
A THOUSAND QUESTIONS!
A thousand questions pass through our minds such as, “Why do people have to suffer? Why is there such a disparity between the rich and the poor? Why do some people seem to get all the breaks, while others are by-passed?”
The answer is in the Bible! We must go to the source of the sin, sickness, fear, and chaos; the Scriptures spell it out clearly - THE WAGES OF SIN IS DEATH! (Rom. 6:23) Wherefore, as by one man (Adam) sin entered into the world, and death by sin; and so death passed upon all men, for that all have sinned.” (Rom. 5:12)
From whence come wars among you? come they not hence, even of your lusts that war in your members?” (James 4:1). And what kind of message are we sending our children when we have laws that protect the murderer and kill the unborn through abortion? And elevate sodomy to a respected place in society? May God help us!
Let us never forget that the major cause of AIDS is still sodomy, intravenous drug use, bisexuals spreading the disease to women and an unsafe blood supply caused by drug addicts donating blood! And what about monkeypox?
Without doubt, we are our own worst enemy! Most of our problems are self-inflicted! We create our own problems and then tend to blame others. “Passing the buck” didn’t originate with Sigmund Freud, the weird, kinky father of psychoanalysis. It began with Adam in the Garden of Eden, who blamed Eve and even God Himself for his sin!
ADAM said: “The woman who You gave me, gave me the (forbidden) fruit.” (Gen. 3:12) He was saying, “I’m not to blame. It’s Eve’s fault and really yours, Lord, because You gave me the woman.” Let’s have a look at the current lack of integrity and morals, increase in violent crime, disrespect for the elderly and the “dumbing down of the younger generation!
We’ve taken the Bible out of our schools and replaced it with condom machines and removed prayer often replacing it with transcendental meditation, which glorifies evil occultic spirits and Hindu deities! Corporal punishment and the right to properly correct and discipline students has been taken from schoolteachers and parents, by and large.
Our youth watch untold hours of useless television sitcoms, listen to the vulgar, violent ghetto language and often rebellious, perverted lyrics by musicians whose lives are a shambles, many of whom end up dying of AIDS, drug overdoses or suicide! And the spiritually derogative songs, speech, and items that children can see on their cell phones is destructive, manipulate and devilish!
The illogical theory of Darwinism - soundly refuted by leading scientists - is still being taught in our schools, often as a fact! Since man ascended from an ape, they postulate, we belong to the animal kingdom and that is why we have mass murderers, sadists, and muggers on the loose! Mass murderers have reverted to their animal natures - like the tiger and lion - say they! How can we expect to change this “out of control” society when we teach such utter nonsense?
SATAN IS TO BLAME!
Jesus said, “The thief (devil) cometh not, but for to steal, and to kill, and to destroy.” (John 10:10) We see Satan’s dirty work in the life of JOB: “So went Satan forth from the presence of the Lord, and smote Job with sore boils from the sole of his foot unto his crown.” (Job 2:7)
The Bible says that Satan engineered a storm that killed all Job’s sons and daughters. He also organized a heat wave that destroyed his crops and deployed bands of kidnappers, killers and terrorists who killed Job’s servants and stole his flocks.
When God asked Adam why he had sinned, he passed the buck and blamed his wife. When the Lord asked Eve however, she hit the nail right on the head, “The serpent beguiled me, and I did eat.” (Gen. 3:13)
THE SEED OF THE WOMAN!
Almighty God judged Satan who had come disguised as a beautiful creature: “Thou hast been in Eden the Garden of God; every precious stone was thy covering…Thine heart was lifted up because of thy beauty, thou hast corrupted thy wisdom by reason of thy brightness. I will cast thee to the ground, I will lay thee before kings, that they may behold thee.” (Ezekiel 28: 12-17)
Serpents walked upright. Only after God’s judgment on Lucifer did snakes lose its legs and begin to crawl on its belly: “Because thou hast done this, thou art cursed above all cattle, and above every beast of the field: upon thy belly shalt thou go, and dust shalt thou eat all the days of thy life.”
God said: “And I will put enmity between thee (Satan) and the woman, and between thy seed and her seed (Christ); it shall bruise (crush) thy head, and thou shalt bruise His heel” (Gen. 3:14,15)
When Jesus Christ died vicariously for our sins, shedding His precious BLOOD on the CROSS, He crushed Satan’s head for eternity. Just before our Saviour died, He cried, “It is finished.” (John 19: 30). Jesus spoke in Greek. The word He used was ‘Tetelestai’ which has three essential meanings: “To finish something and to bring something to an end; to fulfill something; to pay for that which was owed.”
Through His sacrificial death for us, Jesus of Nazareth - true God and true man- had finished His work of Redemption and put to an end Satan’s power over the human family. He had fulfilled all the Old Testament prophecies about the Messiah. He had paid for all the sins of mankind from Adam to Christ’s return, for all who receive Him as their Lord and Saviour!
HERE IS THE GOOD NEWS!
There is hope! Thank God for the gospel and Jesus’ work on our behalf on the cruel cross at Calvary. The Bible says, “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.” (Isa. 53:5).
“Who His own Self (Jesus) bare our sins in His own body on the tree, that we, being dead to sins, should live unto righteousness: by Whose stripes ye were healed.” (1 Peter 2:24)
Jesus Christ came into this world to save sinners; to alleviate the pain, drive away the fears and defeat man’s enemy, Satan. The Bible says, “For this purpose the Son of God was manifested, that He might destroy the works of the devil.” (1 John 3:8)
And Jesus declared, “Ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free.” (John 8:32). God has done His part and by His great love and through His grace is reaching out to us, to set us free from hopelessness and frustration!
“For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son that whosoever believeth in Him should not perish but have eternal life. For God sent not His Son into the world to condemn the world, but that the world through Him might be saved.
“He that believeth on the SON hath everlasting life: and he that believeth not the Son shall not see life; but the wrath of God abideth on him..” (John 3:16, 17, 36)
Now we must do our part, by taking God’s love and mercy to a world gone mad with fear, frustration, heartache, and tension! Jesus said, “Peace I leave with you, My peace I give unto you: not as the world giveth, give I unto you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid.” (John 14:27). Jesus Christ came to earth to “defeat the works of the devil” and to seek and save and them that are loss!
THESE SIGNS SHALL FOLLOW BELIVERS!
“And He said unto them, Go ye into all the world, and preach the gospel to every creature. He that believeth and is baptized shall be saved and 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; and if they drink any deadly thing, it shall not hurt them; they shall lay hands on the sick, and they shall recover.
“So then after the Lord had spoken unto them, He was received up into Heaven, and sat on the right hand of God. And they went forth and preached everywhere, the Lord working with them, and confirming the Word with signs following.” (Mark 16: 15-20)
BRITA GLOPPEN OF BERGEN, NORWAY
Bergen's Labour Newspaper carried a large front-page report of Brita Gloppen's amazing miracle healing at the 'Bergen Tabernacle' in May, 1968. 'I WAS HEALED -THREW MY CRUTCHES'. Brita Gloppen at Mannserk: “It is the Lord that has healed me. A Wonder has happened. Jesus has healed me!”
Brita Gloppen has enthusiasm in her voice. She does not have the tiniest doubt in her mind that it is He who has given her health and earlier life back again.
After many years of being in a wheelchair, Brita goes about, healthy and active! While Brita was totally dependent on help from others, she can now look after her cosy apartment in Manannverk 32. During the day, she goes out and travels about visiting friends and relatives, and above all she tells about the great thing that has happened to her.
It was a Sunday in May, at one of the meetings the well-known Canadian preacher Max Solbrekken had in the Tabernacle. - I was pushed forward, and with help of crutches and others steadying me, I was able to get a place to sit down, tells frk. Gloppen in a conversation with Bergen's Labour Paper.
Max Solbrekken prayed for me and suddenly I was able to walk over the floor without crutches and without help from others. It is totally impossible for me to describe how it happened! But I know that it was our Lord Jesus Christ had mercy upon me and made me well and strong!” (Bergen Labour Paper)
Brita Gloppen used a wheelchair and special crutches for 8 years. For 10 years she was forced to wear a steel corset. Her spine was deteriorated severely and beyond repair. She had spent considerable time in the hospital over the years and had been designated as incurable.
I was conducting a Gospel Crusade at the Pentecostal Tabernacle in Bergen, Norway when I learned about Brita. For five years Pastor Roald Andersen had dutifully picked her up every Sunday morning in his station wagon and taken her home after the service.
In our May 1968 Crusade, Brita came to receive a miracle from Jesus. She was instantly healed and ran down isles and down the steps and around the church. She walked home after the service! Pastor Roald Andersen stood behind the pulpit and wept, saying, “I have waited 40 years to see such a miracle.
Brita's life was changed overnight. The next morning, she was outside washing down her steps and her neighours saw her and heard her testimony The ladies in the department store wept as they witnessed her trying on dresses two sizes smaller because she no longer needed the steel corset.
She travelled by airplane, train, boat, bus and automobile to visit her siblings, and all but one or two fell on their knees and received Christ as their Saviour! Amen.
I WAS ON DRUGS, ALCOHOL & CRIPPLED
Says Arne Erik Tomassen, Gjovik, Norway
Twenty-nine years ago, I was a hopeless alcoholic and drug addict and had planned to kill myself. I was also crippled. At 17 my right leg stopped growing after an accident. A speeding vehicle struck me while walking, throwing me high into the air! A growth began to develop on my right hip, but I didn't do anything about it at the time, thinking it would go away.
I went to sea and worked on ships and boats and the tumor kept growing. As a 22 years old sailor I was taken to a hospital in Buenos Aires, Argentina where I stayed for 8 months and endured several operations, leaving my leg 3 inches shorter. To walk, I had to swing my body awkwardly forward with each step. I also became addicted to morphine!
Life was tough when I returned to Norway. People stared and began calling me, 'den halte pinken' (the halting cripple). From 1969 til 1973, I lived and slept on the streets of Oslo. In early December, I planned to kill myself. I had climbed up on the high railing overlooking a river and in a drunken stupor I was about to throw myself into the ice-cold water when suddenly, I heard a voice, saying. “Arne, don't do it. I have a better way for you!”
I was shocked and looking around, I saw no-one. I thought, have I flipped out? Then, I heard the voice again, “Arne, don't do it. I have a better way for you!” Then I thought, “Maybe this is God”, remembering what my mother had taught me.
Suddenly, in my stupor of drugs and alcohol, I remembered what a street friend told me, “If you are in trouble, Filadelfia is a good church.” My head had cleared, and I knew that I had to get to that church. God had called my name. With all my strength and a new lease on life, I headed to Filadelfia.
An usher asked me where I was going and I pointed to the preacher behind the pulpit in that large church. I must not let anyone stop me. I must meet the One whose voice I had heard on the bridge! Evangelist Max Solbrekken stepped down and stood waiting for me. He asked, “What do you want?” I said, “I want God.” He threw his arms around me and began to weep, calling upon God to save me and heal me.
And then, it happened! My leg straightened out, my head jerked back and I stood as straight as an arrow. And I was stone sober! I was born again and became a member of Filadelfia Tabernaklet!
I am now living in Gjovik and serving the Lord here. God gave me another miracle on January 27, 2002, when Max preached at the Gjovik Pentecostal Church. I had suffered a major hemorrhage of my right eye resulting in complete loss of the sight in that eye!
As Pastor Max prayed for a lady in the Salvation Army Band, total vision returned to me as God's servant prayed for her. God's power swept the sanctuary. Everyone there knew of my plight and word of that miracle has spread throughout the city. We are waiting for Max Solbrekken to return to Gjovik!
THE WORD OF GOD CANNOT FAIL!
We know that God cannot lie. We know that God cannot change. We know that God cannot fail. We know that God is no respecter of persons, places or times. We know that His Word is true and will stand for time and eternity!
“Ask and it shall be given unto you, seek and ye shall find, knock and it shall opened unto you. For everyone that asketh receiveth; and he that seeketh findeth; and to him that knocketh it shall be opened.” (Matt. 7: 7,8)
“Jesus said unto him, If thou canst believe, all things are possible o him that believeth.” (Mark 9:23); “And Jesus looking upon them saith, With men this is impossible, but not with God: for with God all things are possible” (Mark 10: 27)
The Bible says: “And this is the confidence that we have in Him, that, I we ask anything according to His will, He heareth us. And if we know that He hear us, whatsoever we ask, we KNOW that we have the petitions that we desired of Him.” (1 John 5: 14, 15). Amen.
Max Solbrekken World Mission, PO Box 44220 RPO Garside, Edmonton, AB T5V 1N6 Email: [email protected]; comehometojesus.ca; YouTube, Facebook. Donations can be made by E-Transfer. Make your donation to: [email protected]