MIRACLES OF GOD STILL HAPPEN
WAITING FOR THE MOVING OF THE WATER
By Pastor Max Solbrekken, D.D.
“Now there is at Jerusalem by the sheep market a pool, which is called in the Hebrew tongue Bethesda, having five porches. In these lay a great multitude of impotent folk, blind, halt, withered, waiting for the moving of the water. For an angel went down at a certain season into the pool and troubled the water: whosoever then first after the troubling of the water stepped in was made whole of whatsoever disease he had.” (John 5: 3,4)
From the account of Jesus Christ's healing of an impotent man who had waited for thirty-eight years at the pool of Bethesda, we glean some great truths:
We learn the great desire of our Heavenly Father to alleviate sickness and disease by sending an angel to trouble the waters to bring healing. It was a foretaste of His Son's miracle ministry to heal everyone who came to Him for His healing touch.
It was also a picture of the Church healing the sick and suffering and pointing to freedom from sickness and death in the Millennial Reign of Christ. What strikes me so profoundly when studying this portion of God's Word is the great needs of the sinful, sick and suffering all around us, and their intense desire to be healed.
MIRACLES GET PEOPLE'S ATTENTION!
Secondly, a supernatural move of God is necessary to get people's attention to “wait for the moving of the waters.” When authentic miracles begin happening in a Church or through a preacher's ministry, people will begin to congregate in that place. Wherever Jesus went, He healed the sick and performed miracles and multitudes attended His meetings.
The Bible records: “And a great multitude followed Him because they saw His MIRACLES which He did on them that were diseased.” (John 6: 2); “And Jesus went about all Galilee, teaching in their synagogues, and preaching the Gospel of the Kingdom, and healing all manner of sickness and all manner of disease among the people.
“And His fame went throughout Syria, and they brought unto Him all sick people that were taken with diverse diseases and torments and those which were possessed with devils, and those which were lunatic, and those that had the palsy, and He healed them. And there followed Him great multitudes of people from Galilee, and from Decapolis, and from Jerusalem, and from Judaea and from beyond Jordan." (Matt.4:23-25)
“Now when the sun was setting all they that had any sick, with diverse diseases brought them unto Him and He laid His hands on every one of them and healed them. And devils also came out of many, crying out and saying, Thou art the Christ the Son of God. And He rebuking them, suffered them not to speak, for they knew that He was the Christ.” (Luke 4:40-41)
GREAT MIRACLES OPENED HEARTS!
The same was true in the lives and ministries of the Early Church: “Now Peter and John went up together into the temple at the hour of prayer, being the ninth hour. And a certain lame man from his mother's womb was carried whom they laid daily at the gate of the temple which is called Beautiful to ask alms of them that entered into the temple, who seeing Peter and John about to go into the temple asked an alms. And Peter fastening his eyes upon him with John said unto him, Look on us. And he gave heed unto them, expecting to receive something from 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 with them into the temple, walking, and leaping, and praising God. And all the people saw him walking and praising God.
“And they knew that it was he which sat for alms at the Beautiful Gate of the temple: and they were filled with wonder and amazement at that which had happened unto him at that which had happened unto him.” (Acts 3: 6-10)
What was the outcome of that great miracle which God performed as Peter and John exercised faith in the Name of Jesus Christ to raise up that impotent man? Here it is: Howbeit many of them which heard the Word believed, and the number of the men was about 5,000. Hallelujah and Amen.
PAUL SAW GOD'S MIRACLES AND REVIVAL!
“For I will not dare to speak of any of those things which Christ hath not wrought by me, to make the Gentiles obedient by word and deed, through mighty Signs and Wonders, by the power of the Spirit of God; so that from Jerusalem, and round about unto Illyricum, I have fully preached the Gospel of Christ.
“Yea, so have I strived to preach the Gospel, not where Christ was named, lest I should build upon another man's foundation.” (Rom. 15:18-20). What a statement from a former persecutor of believers in Christ!
Here was a man who met Jesus Christ the Crucified, Resurrected and Glorified Son of God on the Damascus Road, and who died as a MARTYR after founding Christ's Church in the Gentile world!
Repeatedly, God has triggered genuine Revivals through Signs and Wonders and Gifts of the Holy Spirit. St. Peter writing about Jesus of Nazareth stated: “How that God anointed Jesus of Nazareth with the Holy Ghost and with POWER who went about doing Good and HEALING all who were oppressed of the Devil for God was with Him.” (Acts 10:38)
Who can forget the great Revival that God brought to the city of Samaria through the ministry of Philip, the deacon? St. Luke writes about it:
“Then Philip went down to Samaria, and preached Christ unto them. And the people with one accord gave heed unto those things which Philip, hearing and seeing the miracles which he did. For unclean spirits, crying with loud voice, came out of many that were possessed with them; and many taken with palsies, and that were lame, were healed. And there was great joy in that city.” (Acts 8: 5-8)
JESUS USED HIS HUMBLE SERVANT!
By God's great grace, I have seen this phenomenon in my own Ministry around the world for more than fifty years. When Jesus performed staggering miracles in the Manila Philippine Crusade in 1966, word spread and about 1,100 souls joined Bethel Temple (now Cathedral of Praise).
When Sal Marasigan’s leg - stunted by polio - grew out more than 12 inches, 100 members of his extended family came to Christ and joined the Church. His uncle Conrad Gadula was among those who gave their hearts to Christ. He went on to become a preacher of the Gospel in New York!
OUR CRUSADE WITH SADHU VANDENAM OPENED DOORS!
On the first night of our 1966 Gospel Crusade in the Freedom Park in Guntur, A.P. India, Jesus Christ liberated a demon possessed woman in a spectacular show of His power! The Guntur Freedom Park was used solely for Political Rallies because India’s uprising for independence began when six British soldiers were killed there.
The platform was crowded with many important Government leaders and officials who welcomed Thomas Tutyko and me! The crowd surged from 2,000 upwards to ca 15,000. A great miracle brought everyone on the platform to their feet when a well-known demon possessed homeless woman was instantly healed!
As the demons came out of her, they tore her, and she screamed loudly. Red blood flecks came out of her mouth and struck my white shirt. She fell to the ground like dead. I commanded her to open her eyes and stand up. She asked me three questions: Where am I? Who are you? Where are my children? I said, “You are at the Freedom Park. You have been bound by the devil, and I have cast the devil out of you in the Name of Jesus Christ! I do not know where your children are.” She had not seen her children for ten years!
And Dr. Sarala Elisha the Head medical physician of the Kugler Lutheran Hospital publicly confirmed that a 13-year-old-boy who earlier had an eye removed by surgery, three days after prayer in Jesus' Name a new eye appeared in that empty eye socket and continued growing to normal size with perfect vision! The crowds continued to grow!
One day, Six Circle Inspectors came to see me. They handed me an official letter with these words: “Rev. Max Solbrekken: We the Circle Inspectors of the Police Force request you follow us to the Guntur General Hospital to “Heal the Inspector General of the Police Force in Name Lord Jesus.”
The Inspector General had suffered a stroke and was paralyzed on the right side. He could only speak with much difficulty, as the right side of his face was drooping. His right arm was drawn up in a ball on his chest. The six Circle inspectors stood at attention in his room. His wife and another lady were present, as well as my associate Thomas Tutyko.
I pulled up a chair near his bed. I said, “Sir, you sent for me.” He spoke very slowly, “Yes. I want you heal me Name Lord Jesus.”
I said, “Since you want me to heal you in the Name of the Lord Jesus, I must tell you why His name is so powerful.” He nodded that he understood. For about fifteen minutes I expounded unto him the Holy Scriptures about Jesus Christ. I asked him to follow me in the prayer of repentance and confession of faith for salvation. He struggled and slowly got the words out.
The anointing of God came upon me, as I commanded the evil spirits of sickness, disease and infirmity to leave him. I called upon Almighty God in the Name of Jesus Christ, to heal the Inspector General. When I concluded my prayer, I saw an immediate change in his face. I said, “God has healed you.” He spoke normally, and said, “Yes.”
He threw back the blanket and I took his hands and helped him out of bed. He and I began marching back and forth. Then, he shook his hand free from me and marched back and forth perfectly normal.
THE ROYAL SALUTE TO JESUS CHRIST!
He marched up to me and saluted, saying: “Whom do I thank for this, Sir?” I answered, “Lift up your arms in the Royal Salute and say, Thank you Lord Jesus.” As He did, the six Circle Inspectors and other Policemen standing up and down the corridor, lifted their arms straight in the air, saying, “Thank you Lord Jesus.”
What was the outcome of that miracle? Any policeman who had sick family got the day off so they could bring them to me for prayer. And that is what I did throughout the afternoon. The Guntur City Council begged us to stay another five days, but the weather was so hot (140 F and 100 F at night with no air conditioning) that we deferred.
he Crusade in Guntur was so successful that the City officials formally invited us back to their city in December of that same year. Both Prime Minister Lester Pearson and the Right Honourable John Diefenbaker wrote me congratulating us for our successful time in India.
In the December 1966 crusade in Guntur, AP India, we attended the Annual Police Sport's Day. It was announced that anyone could compete in the one-mile race. Since I was Saskatchewan's half-miler in 1951, Bob Hoover, Thomas Tutyko and Missionary Lawson Barbour all felt I should compete to get exposure for the Crusade.
I finally agreed and the announcer excitedly said, “You remember the Miracle Man from Canada who had the crusade at the Freedom Park in May. He is back for another crusade this week. He has not run for 16 years. If he wins it will be a miracle. If he does not it will still be a miracle. Rev. Max Solbrekken the Miracle Man is competing in the One Mile Race which begins now.”
I was number three when we came around the track at the halfway mark, when I decided to graciously pull out of the race. We got the publicity for Jesus, and they were thrilled that I had participated. All glory to God!
A MAN OF GOD WILL COME TOMORROW!
I had returned from our 3 ½ month Missionary Crusades and was at my desk doing some much needed work. My good friend, Bob Rosin called from New Westminster asking if I could join him at the old Hospital to pray for Ella’s mother. The Holy Spirit nudged me to go at once. While walking toward the entrance of that private Hospital I said that we should enquire about visiting hours.
I opened the door to her room and said, “I am a man of God.” She stretched out her arm toward me and said, “Don’t say another word. I know who you are.” I answered, “How could you possibly know who I am?”
She said, “Please come in. All my life I have been a strong Catholic and gone to mass every day. About five days ago, a very strong fear filled my mind. I realized that I was not ready to die. I have not slept for three days and nights. Then, last night I fell asleep, and God spoke to saying, ‘Tomorrow, a man of God will come to you and show the way of salvation. I have been waiting for you all day!”
Bob and I fell on our knees beside her bed, weeping. Then I shared some scripture texts from the New Testament stating that Jesus Christ paid for her sins on the Cross, shedding His BLOOD, and rising from the dead for her justification. I stated that Jesus Christ was waiting to receive Him as her Lord and Saviour. After prayer she said, “The fear is gone. And yes, I receive Jesus Christ as my only Lord and Saviour.”
Then her face lit up, saying: “I see it now. It’s not the priest, or church or pope. It is Jesus alone, isn’t it?” I said, “Yes, Jesus Christ is your Saviour. You are now born again and a child of God!” She began to worship Jesus Christ and we praised God together. Then she asked me to bring the waste basket near her bed and with her thin arm, she moved her rosaries and crucifixes into the basket.
She stated that didn’t need them any longer because Jesus was now living in her heart. She asked if I could give her a Bible. We brought a large print Holy Bible to her that very day. Ten days she went home to be with Jesus.
Matron Brown shared with us about her death. They had fellowshipped together for ten days, and she was gloriously peaceful and joyful. The day of her death, the Doctor told the Matron saying, “It is your duty to ask her if she wants a priest to give her the last rites and absolution.” Sister Brown approached her, saying, “The Doctor has instructed me to ask if you want a Roman Catholic priest, because you going to die today.”
She said, “No, I don’t need a Priest. I have Jesus now. Then, she laid back on the bed and she was gone, into the arms of Jesus! Praise the Lord!