Saturday, May 20, 2017

A CRY FOR CHILDREN




By Ada Nicholson Brownell



 During World War II enemy soldiers entered a small Dutch village, intending to take the young girls for sexual slaves.

The fathers and almost every other man from the village were in battle or in prison. Women and children—some of them teenage girls—were left.

As soldiers came to their homes and seized the younger women, the village mothers and grandmothers gathered in the town square where enemy buses were parked

The women stood and watched as the girls, some barely into their teens, were herded like animals toward the buses. The women had no weapons.

When the first girl was seized and forced into the bus, in unison terrible cries of anguish erupted from the women standing by.

Suddenly they took off their wooden shoes and began to attack the soldiers.

Their daughters were saved because the village women came to defend them.

I met one of the young girls who escaped and immigrated to the United States. She told me this story in Arvada, Colorado. How thankful she was for the cries of anguish from the women as they went into action with the only thing available—their shoes.

I thought of teens—both boys and girls—who are being seized by Satan for his use. One parent, whose son was involved in drugs and was in trouble with the law, told me, “There’s nothing I can do.”

But we don’t have to stand by and see our youths corrupted by Satan, who will steal their talents and love for life, and even kill the body and destroy the soul (John 10:10).

A young married couple came to church without knowing their parents had become Christians and were praying for them.

“Both of us got this desire to read the Bible,” the young man explained. “We bought one and started reading. Instead of starting at the front, we started at the back. We were reading Revelation, and we got scared. We didn’t understand some of it, so we decided we’d better find a church. We came here and gave our lives to Christ.”

The couple learned their parents, who had become Christians, and many of their parents’ friends, were praying for them. The parents didn’t know how to explain to their children what happened in their lives, so they just prayed and their children found God.

Some parents’ prayers aren’t as quickly answered. But when the cry of anguish for souls is sent heavenward, we know God hears (1 John 5:14, 15).

All we can take with us into heaven are other people. We want our families with us for eternity.

Every day I thank God I have children who are dedicated to Him. Even then when one gets into a dangerous situation, I find a place on my knees to intercede for him.

But the cries of anguish and action for youths need not be limited to our families. The cry can go up for our community, our city, and our nation’s children.

We can pray for youths. We can be good examples. We can teach the Bible and its principles. We can encourage them. As parents we can be firm and loving with discipline. We can help them be faithful to the house of God. We can show our love for them.

Yes, there are things we can do to defend our youths. We don’t have to sit idly by. Like the village women, we can use what we have to do battle.

But we won’t fight this battle alone. When the cry of anguish goes up and we put faith to our works, we enlist the help of Almighty God.

The next cry will be the cry of victory!

n  THE PENTECOSTAL EVANGEL, June 9, 1985


Tuesday, May 16, 2017

AN ACT OF AGGRESSION


I’M ALL IN!



By Ada Nicholson Brownell



Can you imagine a follower of God standing before a great world leader demanding the release of his slaves? Moses did.

Can you imagine a consecrated believer challenging the armies of the enemies of God’s people? David did.

Can you imagine a Christian going out to greet a mob who murdered your Best Friend, telling them they should be sorry for what they did? Peter did.

Often Christians get the idea believers in Christ should be quiet and timid. According to examples I find in the Bible, few committed believers were either.

I’ve wondered what Moses would have accomplished had he timidly and quietly asked God to soften Pharaoh’s heart—instead of obeying God and going to speak to Pharaoh himself.

Or what would have happened to Goliath if David, instead of challenging the giant himself, had only prayed God would send a mighty warrior to kill Goliath.

Or if 3,000 souls would have been saved on the Day of Pentecost if Peter had ignored the crowd assembled outside the Upper Room and slipped quietly to his home to enjoy his new experience with God.

Saints of Bible times showed by their obedience to God that there are times when God wants action as well as prayer.

James describes the successful pattern for God’s work in chapter 2 of his epistle when he spoke of faith and works. He said when we are capable of helping bring about the answer to our needs by obeying God, we better do it.

Many churches would build larger building and win their communities to Christ if faith were all that is necessary. If a congregation could purchase a plot of ground, have a season of prayer and fasting, then one morning wake up and discover a beautiful sanctuary had miraculously appeared on the spot, they’d vote to purchase the ground today. In only a few weeks, faith would fill the pews.

But even though God will provide miracles of finance, other provisions, and revival, He still wants our work—sometimes aggressive work!

I remember one pastor who build one of the largest Pentecostal churches in America. He was aggressive with everyone. When he’d order lumber, he’d ask the salesman if he was a Christian and invite him to church. When he had a men’s meeting, he invited the city dignitaries.

When he filled one building, he wasn’t satisfied. He started making plans to build a larger one. This pastor spent a considerable amount of time in prayer but he didn’t depend on prayer alone.

Jesus taught aggressive action when He said, “Go out into the highways and hedges and compel them to come in” (Luke 14:23).

According to The Cross and the Switchblade, it wasn’t easy when Dave Wilkerson made his aggressive moves into Satan’s territory. At times his actions seemed absurd and turned out to be dangerous. But the effects of his response to God’s call are still being felt worldwide through the ministry of Teen Challenge.

Satan has put much of Christianity into a corner where Christians spend their time in defense. It is time we made plan for aggressive spiritual maneuvers into Satan’s territory.

Let’s win the children in our neighborhoods. Let’s win the teenagers of our town. Let’s get the middle-aged moving back to God. Let’s go after the elderly who are living on the edge of eternity.

We’ll use the armor of God described in Ephesians 6:11-19. But we can’t wait for the battle to come to us. We must move aggressively into Satan’s territory.

With a shout of victory we can march to battle, for we can do all things through Christ (Philippians 4:13).

THE PENTECOSTAL EVANGEL, May 18, 1974


Thursday, May 11, 2017

America needs a great awakening




A reprint from The Pentecostal Evangel, originally titled: IT’S TIME FOR REVEILLE

By Ada Brownell



Last night I became freshly aware of how difficult it is to fight off sleep. My 10-year-old daughter was ill. After praying for her and giving her medicine, I needed to stay away until she was better.

But it was cold, so I crawled in bed. Beneath the covers it was warm, and I had tremendous struggle to keep from dozing off. Every muscle wanted to relax, but I kept thinking, I’ve got to stay awake!”

The struggle reminded me of how difficult it is for Christians to stay spiritually awake. The cares of this life make us weary. WE feel a need to relax, and before long our spiritual senses grow dull and drowsy.

But the Lord commanded us to watch! We are to keep alert. We are on duty! WE are to be watchful and ready at all times for the Lord’s return.

Last spring where I live the media asked if anyone had protested the teaching of evolution in the local school district. In our city of over 100,000, no one had. I made a mental of it, intending to them hear from me.

In the fall I was suddenly reminded of my procrastination when my son came home from school and told me wat his teacher said about the Bible. According to the teacher, the Bible says the earth is flat, covered with a dome with stars painted on it, and the devil in underneath in the flames of hell.

I told my son he should have asked for chapter and verse, because no such things are taught in the Bible. The next day I wrote the superintendent of schools and told him I had a complaint about a teacher. I added, ‘While I am writing, I want to be on record as opposing the teaching of evolution in our schools.’ Then I cited some reasons why I don’t believe in evolution (based on extensive research) and concluded by pointing out evolution is based on faith as much as belief in a Creator is based on faith.

I received a letter from the superintendent and later phone calls from both the superintendent and the school principal. They apologized for the teacher. After I had a lengthy discussion with the superintendent, he told me he agreed that taking courses in evolution or creationism should be a choice for each pupil—or evolution should not be taught.

 Fifteen years ago when sex education was introduced into the schools, the church stirred and grunted a little, but gave up when the educated spokesmen embarrassed us publicly for our narrow-minded morals. Sex education, they said, would eliminate venereal diseases, teen pregnancy, and sexual hang-ups.

The tragic decline in morals in this country since that time may be blamed on the media, as much as on public schools, but publishers and broadcasters never would have dared spread such filth had it not been for the silence of parents. The door to immorality by parents allowing teachers to discuss sex without discussing morality and the consequences of sinning our bodies as well as God.

But all hope is not lost. God is still on the throne, and the gates of hell will not prevail against His church. If we will open our ears to the sound of reveille, we can drive the enemy back. We can put on the whole armor of God, take the sword of the Spirit which is the Word of God and be triumphant.

“Awake thou that sleepest!” Paul told the Ephesians. The Living Bible has an interesting paraphrase of this passage: “Take no part in the worthless pleasures of evil and darkness, but instead, rebuke and expose them… When you expose them, the light shines in upon their sin and shows it up and when they see how wrong they really are, some of them may even become children of the light! That is why God says in Scriptures, “Awake. O Sleeper, and rise up from the dead; and Christ shall give you light’” (Ephesians 5:11-14).

The alarm is sounding. It’s time to wake up.

When I was a child, there was fire at our house one morning. Daddy had left for work, and we were still in bed when my mother shouted, “Fire!”

My brother Joe slept upstairs. Even before I emerged from my downstairs bedroom, I heard him bound down the stairs and dart out the back door. By the time I got outside that frosty morning, Joe had carried the garden hose into the basement and was shooting water on the flames above the furnace. When the fire department arrived, the fire was out, and damage was minimal, due to Joe’s quick action.

The earth many not be on fire—not yet—but sin is raging out of control, destroying many lives. It’s time for action.

If the church will stir itself from slumber, it can shake the world. Again and again it has happened in the past. God uses people who will respond to His Spirit and give the sound of reveille.

Reveille is not the most welcome sound. The jangle of an alarm clock is on the worst noises in the world.

Evangelists who sound the alarm may not be popular, I once interviewed an elderly lady who heard D.L. Moody preach in Leadville, Colo., when she was young.

The old woman curses as she recalled the occasion: “The place was packed. I could hardly get into the building. Moody started yelling and carrying on about sin, and I didn’t like it. I got up and walked out.”

Even though we don’t like to be disturbed, there are times we must be. “Now it is high time to awake out of sleep,” Paul wrote, “for now is our salvation nearer than when we believed” (Romans 13:11).

--PENTECOSTAL EVANGEL, April 11, 1982.





Sunday, May 7, 2017

DELIVERED BY THE INVADER

Yesterday's post tells about how the crisis developed. -- Ada


A true story By Otto Kaiser
Professor at Global University
(Blog Guest of Ada Brownell)

Suddenly all the African Christians stopped, turned around, and looked to the sky. Everyone started jumping up and down, whistling, clapping their hands, and shouting. Angels appeared visibly all over the stadium and began putting out the fires.



            Not only did they put out the fires, but God did creative miracles. Not one human hair or part of any human skin was burned. Not one piece of clothing or blanket had a fire mark on it. The canvas above the platform returned to its original shape. The ground all around the vehicles and sound equipment and all over the stadium floor was burned, but not one fire mark could be found on any vehicle, on the sound equipment, or on any Christian. As soon as the fires were out, the angels disappeared.



            The people went back to the center of the stadium in front of the platform. In eight minutes, Brother Bernard Johnson began preaching again. He preached for another 20 minutes. That night, 552 human souls came forward in the altar call to accept the Lord Jesus Christ as Savior. Among them were many terrorists who were convicted by the greater power of God, and they became Christians.



            After the altar call, many phenomenal healings took place. That night the Lord completely opened the blind eyes of a 36 year old woman who was known all over the city of Suharto. Everyone knew her and knew that she had been blind. Over the eight day crusade, over 2,500 people accepted Jesus Christ as their Lord and Savior. Nine months after the crusade, four new Assemblies of God churches were opened in Suharto.



            What God did 2,000 years ago, when he invaded planet Earth as a baby boy, he did for you. Jesus has experienced every possible experience you can go through. He is now your high priest who knows by experience what you are suffering and can meet your need. Jesus Christ died for your sins on the cross, and as you place your faith in Jesus, there is no sin in you by which demon powers can hold you. For the last 2,000 years, God has continued to triumph over sin, sickness, death, and demon power on planet Earth. What God did through Bernard Johnson in South Africa, he can do for you. The Bible says, "Jesus Christ is the same yesterday, today and forever" (Hebrews 13:8). What God has done for others he can do for you! But what should be our response to His goodness to us?



            Many years ago in Europe, an aimless young lad wandered into a dark, empty church. Though the darkness penetrated all around him, he saw a beam of light coming through a stained glass window in the front of the church. The young lad was drawn forward to the light and found it rested on a cross on the altar. At the bottom of the cross, the young lad read these words, "this I did for you, what are you doing for me?"



            Through these words, "this I did for you, what are you doing for me?" The Holy Spirit convicted this aimless young lad. He dedicated his life to the Lord Jesus Christ. The name of this young lad was Nicklaus Ludwig von Zinzendorf. Zinzendorf later started the Moravian church through whom more missionaries went to the mission field than any other church of that time. Zinzendorf later had a profound influence on the life of John Wesley, the founder of the Methodist Church.



            This Christmas season, as we think about God's invasion of planet Earth in the form of a baby through a virgin mother, God is saying to you, "this I did for you, what are you doing for me?" Permit me to repeat those words, "this I did for you, what are you doing for me?"

           



References:



Johnson, Darrell. 1986. The Sleepy Invasion. Cassette Tape No. 39 Preaching Today.



Johnson, Bernhard. 1972. Missions Convention. Cassette Tape No. 0241. September 19, Central Bible College.






Saturday, May 6, 2017

IF DEMONS HAD KNOWN, THEY WOULDN'T HAVE CRUCIFIED HIM


BY OTTO KAISER
Professor at Global University
(Guest Post for Ada Brownell)


If the full meaning was known, the demons of hell would also have known, and they would never have crucified Jesus. Demon spirits would never have inspired the Jewish and Roman leaders to crucify Jesus. The Bible says, "None of the rulers of this age understood the wisdom of God, for if they had, they would not have crucified the Lord of Glory" (I Cor. 2:8). Through their own act of inspiring the chief priests and Pilate to crucify Jesus, Satan and all his demons destroyed their power over the human race. Satan actually inspired his own defeat.



            When Jesus died on the Cross for the sins of the world, Jesus removed the very thing by which Satan and his demons had power over the human race. The Bible says, "Jesus disarmed the powers and the authorities, He made a public spectacle of them, triumphing over them by the Cross" (Col. 2:15). Through His invasion of planet Earth from outer space, Jesus completely destroyed all the power Satan and his demons had over the human race.



            In history we see that there was a short time gap between D-Day when the Allied armies landed on Normandy in France and V-Day when the Nazis were completely defeated. When the Allies successfully invaded France, they had secured the triumph of World War II. But it took the Allies several months to mop up the German army. Many Allied soldiers were wounded and others lost their lives during that time.



            When Jesus hung on the cross and cried out, "It is finished;" He triumphed over Satan and all his demons. But through faith, you have to enter into that victory. Through faith, you have to claim that victory. You have to personally make Jesus Christ your Lord and Savior.



            When you ask Christ into your heart a transformation will take place. You will want to win others to Jesus Christ through your prayers and fasting. You will want to win others into the Kingdom of God through your sharing with others what Jesus can do for them. You will want to serve Jesus in the gifts and talents He has given you. You will want to tithe and support world missions. As people are won into the kingdom of God by the Holy Spirit through you, you will shine as the stars forever in the glory of God (Daniel 12:3).



            What I have just shared with you is the true meaning behind Christmas. What does this Christmas season inspire you to do for the Lord Jesus Christ to complete His victory on planet Earth? Jesus Christ is returning to this planet Earth the second time in His glory to fully claim the victory He has already won. When Jesus returns what will He find you doing for Him?



            The invasion of planet Earth from outer space through a baby born through a virgin mother did not end when Jesus ascended and returned back to His Father. Jesus issued a mandate every person who has surrendered to Him as Lord. That mandate has continued for the last 2000 years. Permit me share with you how one man fulfilled that mandate.



            In 1995, Bernhard Johnson was called home to his heavenly reward. He was one of the great evangelists of our time. Many times, he preached to audiences of over 100,000 people in some of the greatest football stadiums of the world especially in Latin America.



            In 1971, the Assemblies of God asked Bernhard Johnson to hold a major evangelistic crusade in Suharto, South Africa. Suharto is a black city next to Johannesburg, the largest city in South Africa. Today the two cities have been combined. The city and its surrounding area have over 10 million people. Suharto was known at the time as a city of unrest, turmoil, and terrorism.



            The mayor and city council of Suharto gave Evangelist Bernhard Johnson and his evangelistic team full use of their beautiful soccer stadium. Assemblies of God missionary Vernon Pettinger organized prayer cells and literature distribution for the crusade. Christians prayed for nine months before the crusade for a move of the Holy Spirit.



            When Evangelist Bernhard Johnson arrived in South Africa a few days before the crusade, a government official approached him. The official asked, "Reverent. Johnson are you really going into the city of Suharto?" Brother Johnson answered, "Yes!" The official then asked, "You are going to hold your meetings in the daytime, aren't you?" Brother Johnson answered, "They are going to be at 7:30 each night."



            The government official replied, "You are out of your mind. People don't walk on the streets of Suharto at nigh time. There are no street lights. It is completely dark. It is dangerous. There are robberies at night. There are rapes at night. There are murders every night in that city. Please don't go there at night time you will not get 100 people to come out because of the people will be afraid." Brother Johnson answered, "The crusade is scheduled at 7:30 every night for eight nights."



            Sunday night, the crusade began with 3,000 in the stadium. On Monday night, the crusade grew to 5,000. On Tuesday night, the crusade grew to 6,000. On Wednesday night, the crusade grew to 8,000. Each night people accepted Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior. God was performed miracles of healing. Blind eyes were opened. Crippled people were healed and threw their crutches away.



            But on Wednesday night, the unexpected happened. Evangelist Bernhard Johnson was preaching under a powerful anointing of the Holy Spirit. In the middle of his sermon, terrorists jumped over the stadium walls and started attacking the evangelist, his associates, and all the Christians with bombs. They threw Molotov cocktails onto the platform and all over the people sitting on the field. When a Molotov cocktail hits something, it explodes and spreads fire everywhere. The terrorists were determined to kill all the Christians and destroy everything that belonged to them. They poured gasoline on all the vehicles and sound equipment and set them on fire.



            In five seconds, the platform and the campus above the platform was ablaze with flames ten to twelve feet high. Brother Johnson and his associates on the platform could not escape off the platform; the flames were all around them. In a few seconds chaos erupted over the entire stadium. The hair and the clothes of the Christians on the ground of the stadium were on fire. People were using blankets and coats to try to put the fires out on each other. Thousands of people were on fire. Little children were being trampled on as men rushed to the stadium walls to climb out of the stadium.



            Evangelist Johnson cried out to God, "O God, how can this glorify your Name? What is the press going to say? What are the people in America who financed this crusade going to say? You sent us here. Now this is happening. O God, what are you going to do about this?"



            As evangelist Johnson prayed to God, people were screaming and running in every direction. It was total chaos. All the vehicles and sound equipment were on fire. Quickly most of the field emptied as people ran toward the walls to climb out over them. Because they had no escape, Brother Johnson and his associates were prepared to die in the flames as martyrs.



            Suddenly all the African Christians stopped, turned around, and looked to the sky. Everyone started jumping up and down, whistling, clapping their hands, and shouting. Angels appeared visibly all over the stadium and began putting out the fires.

TOMORROW: A MIRACLE


Friday, May 5, 2017

WHY DID GOD BECOME MAN?


By Otto Kaiser
Professor at Global University
(Guest of Ada Brownell)


Why did God become a man? Why did God invade the planet Earth in this sleepy way? The answer to that question is the greatest wonder of Christmas. What brings me great joy is to realize that this event took place for me. Why did God become a baby? Because God loved me and knew that I needed a Savior. If the baby in the manger in Bethlehem was not a real baby and is not God become man, then I do not have the Savior that I need and I am still a sinner without hope.



            Some of us think of Christmas, that is, the invasion of planet Earth by God in terms of a telephone booth. We think of the comic strip character, Clark Kent. In the comics, Clark Kent in one form of his dress is a normal man; but by changing his clothes in a telephone booth, he become Superman.



            Jesus was not a Superman who changed into a human costume to hide his divinity. Jesus was fully human. Bullets would not bounce off Jesus. Jesus did not invade our world with a protective shield. Because Jesus was a real man, He could become the Savior we needed. Only as a true man, could Jesus become our substitute at Calvary.



            We need a Savior who first could identify with all our humanness and sinfulness, yet without sin; and second, we need a Savior who could deal with our humanness and sinfulness. Only as a man, could God become our Savior. God came to this earth to do, what man cannot do; but he came to do it as a man. We needed someone who could identify with our pains, our hurts, our disappointments, our emotional strain, and our fatigue. God, as a man, did all of this.



            As a baby and boy, Jesus learned to walk, to write, and to read. Jesus by experience received the news of the death of a loved one. Jesus experienced the greed and injustice of men. Jesus experienced all the sorrows and pains of raising a family. After Joseph died and before Jesus entered his ministry, Jesus worked as a carpenter to support his widowed mother Mary and raise His half-brothers and half-sisters. Jesus became tired. Jews became hungry. Jesus became thirsty. Jesus wept at the tomb of Lazarus. Jesus agonized in the Garden of Gethsemane over His impending death on the cross. Death was very real to Jesus.



            This is part of the reason why God invaded planet Earth as a baby. He wanted to demonstrate to us, once and for all, that He does care, and that He does understand. The Bible says, "Jesus has been tempted in every way, just as we are, yet was without sin" (Heb. 4:12). Any experience that you can go through, Jesus has in some way also experienced. Jesus knows by experience what you're going through. Jesus can feel with you. Jesus has become one with us and one of us.



            As human beings, we struggle with hardships and disappointments. We live with bad weather, tornados, flooding, inflation, disease, and tears. Jesus has experienced the same. He can feel with us. He is now our High Priest because Jesus knows by His own personal experience what we are experiencing. The Bible says, “Let us then approach the throne of grace with confidence, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help us in our time of need" (Hebr. 4:16). Jesus is now your high priest. In boldness bring all your needs to Him in prayer.



            God invaded planet Earth not only to identify with human sin and bondage to demon power, but God invaded planet Earth to deal with sin and demonic bondage. Jesus was born as a baby on the first Christmas not only to identify with all that we are experiencing, but Jesus was born as a baby to triumph over sin, darkness, death, and all demon power.



            Through the failure of Adam and Eve in the Garden of Eden, every human being has become a slave to sin, sickness, and death. Through the failure of Adam and Eve, every human being has come under bondage to demon powers. No human being could deliver or set himself free. Through this slavery to sin, sickness, death, and demon power, every human being became the object of divine wrath. The Bible says,



            You were dead in your transgressions and sins, in which you used to live when you followed the ways of this world and the ruler of the kingdom of the air, the spirit who is now at work in those who are disobedient. All of us also lived among them at one time, gratifying the cravings of our sinful nature and following its desires and thoughts. Like the rest, we were by nature the objects of wrath. (Eph. 2:1-3)



            What existed in all human beings that enabled Satan and all his demons to dominate and control the human race? Every man, woman, young person, and child has sin in his life. The wages of sin is eternal death. Satan and his demons can hold each human soul in eternal hell, because sin allows that person's life to belong to Satan. Satan has a rightful claim on each human for all eternity.



            A few hours before His death, Jesus said to His disciples, "The prince of this world is coming. He has no hold on me" (John 14:30). In the original Greek in which the New Testament was written, Jesus actually said, "the prince of this world has found nothing in me." What was Satan looking for in Jesus?



            Satan was looking for sin in the life of Jesus, but Satan could find none. Thus when Jesus died and went to the next world, Satan could not hold Jesus in eternal hell. Satan had nothing in Jesus; thus, Satan had no power over Jesus. Jesus came to this planet Earth as a baby to live a perfect sinless life and thus personally triumph over sin, sickness, death and all the power of demons.



            Because Jesus had no sin, He did not have to die. Jesus could have lived on this planet Earth for the last 2,000 years. Death had no power over Him.

TOMORROW: GOD INVADED EARTH TO DIE


Thursday, May 4, 2017

WHO WAS THIS INVADER?

BY OTTO KAISER
PROFESSOR AT GLOBALL UNIVERSITY
(Guest of Ada Brownell)


Who was this baby in the arms of the virgin mother Mary in the small town of Bethlehem on the first Christmas Day? That baby boy was God. Jesus of Nazareth was not a man who became God. Jesus was God who became man. Jesus was not adopted as a Son of God. Jesus was and is the eternal Son of God, pre-existing in all eternity. The baby born in Bethlehem was and is God Himself. During His entire life on this planet earth, Jesus never stopped being God.

Why was it necessary for God Himself to invade this planet earth to conquer sin, sickness, death and the demon power? Could God have not used another man or an archangel? Every human being has an evil, sinful nature inherited through Adam and Eve. God could not triumph over sin by someone who was under the power of sin. During His earthly life, Jesus never sinned. Thus He could triumph over sin.

Could not God have sent a powerful archangel to deliver the human race? The leader of all the demon forces who enslaved the human race was Lucifer. Lucifer was the greatest archangel God ever made. Therefore if Lucifer was to be conquered, it had to be someone more powerful than Lucifer. Only God was more powerful. Thus God Himself invaded planet earth from outer space as a baby in the arms of the virgin mother Mary in the small town of Bethlehem on the first Christmas Day.

God not only invaded planet earth as God, but God invaded planet earth as man. The baby born the first Christmas in Bethlehem was God made man. God took on humanity. God became a real man. The Bible says, “Christ Jesus being in the very nature God, did not consider equality with God something to be grasped, but made Himself nothing, taking the very nature of a servant, being made in human likeness” (Phil. 2:6-7).

            In the original Greek in which the Bible was written, this verse says that Jesus emptied Himself of Himself in being born a baby in the virgin mother Mary. Jesus voluntarily veiled over His eternal memory. Jesus never stopped being God, but His eternal memory was veiled over. In a symbolic way, Jesus drank a cup of temporary forgetfulness. In every sense of growth and development, Jesus was truly human. All that Jesus knew about His eternal deity was what was revealed to Him by the Father though the Holy Spirit. Through divine revelations or divine revelatory acts, like the Mount of Transfiguration, the Holy Spirit revealed to Jesus His divine pre-existence. All that we know about our sonship with God through Jesus Christ is what the Holy Spirit reveals to us the Word of God.

            God the Son became a real man. Jesus Christ did not merely appear to be human. Jesus was not a ghost human appearance. Jesus Christ was a human being the same as you and me. The Bible says, "Since the children have flesh and blood, Jesus too shared in their humanity.... Jesus has been tempted in every way, just as we are, yet was without sin" (Hebr. 2:14; 4:15). The Baby born in Bethlehem on the first Christmas Day was God made man.

Wednesday, May 3, 2017

INVASION OF PLANET EARTH


Invasion of Planet Earth from Outer Space

                   
               Guest Post by Otto Kaiser


 Professor at Global University


The stage was set. The fullness of time had finally come. For ages, the human race had been locked in prison. The human race was caught in a web of sin and death. The human race was controlled by powerful forces of evil principalities hostile to God. Evil and darkness covered planet earth. God was about to invade this rebel-ruled planet earth. God was about to come and to conquer the great enemies of sin, sickness, and death; and to triumph over all the powers of evil.



Text: Luke 2:10-12.

“The angel said to the shepherds, ‘Do not be afraid. I bring you good news of great joy that will be for all the people. Today in the town of David, a Savior has been born to you; he is Christ the Lord. This will be a sign to you: You will find a baby wrapped in cloths and lying in a manger.’”



What a moment in time! The angel said, “I bring you good news of great joy that will be for all the people.” You would think that an invasion of God would come with mighty signs and wonders. You would think that the skies would be lit as far as one could see. You would think that the whole earth would rock from the impact of God’s landing. You would think that the whole human race would know that God had landed on planet earth.



Think of the great military invasions by mankind. Recall the great wars from your study of world history. Think of D-day, June 6, 1944. Days before, warplanes bombed strategic targets in preparation for the invasion of France. In the early dawn the greatest army the world has ever assembled began to land on Normandy beach. Almost 5,000 ships carrying over 200,000 soldiers, artillery, tanks, and other military equipment headed toward France. D-day was perhaps the greatest modern military invasion.



Now think how God invaded this rebellious planet earth to triumph over sin, sickness, death and the power of evil demons. It was the God who created the cosmic universe. It was the God who through His power controls and keeps the universe in order. American scientists invented the atomic and hydrogen bombs, but God could wipe this planet out in one second.



How did this almighty God invade this rebellious planet earth? Listen! You can hear the gentle baby Jesus breath as he sleeps in Mary’s arms on the first Christmas day. God invaded this planet earth from outer space as a baby. Inside a stable, lying in a manger in the small town of Bethlehem was God almighty in the body of a baby.



It was the turning point in human history. It was the greatest event in all of human history. God invaded this planet earth from outer space through a baby born from the virgin mother, Mary. Nothing in fiction is so fantastic as the truth of the birth of Jesus. God became man. The angel said, “Today in the town of David, a Savior has been born to you; he is the Christ the Lord. This will be a sign to you: You will find a baby wrapped in cloths and lying in a manger.”

TOMORROW: WHO WAS THIS BABY?

Monday, May 1, 2017

BETTER THAN MUSIC MACHINES




By Ada Nicholson Brownell



I remember visiting as a child a friend whose parents owned a player piano. I was amazed when, after my friend inserted a roll of paper full of small holes, the piano began to by itself—the keys going down as if invisible fingers performed on them.

Later I learned the automatic piano wasn’t the only instrument technicians in the 1800s and early 1900s made to play by itself.

Ludwig Hupfeld produced automatic orchestras! The famed Johann Strauss said he was delighted with the orchestral music from Hupfeld’s machines. He found the euphony, fullness of tone, rhythm, and accentuation were reproduced accurately.

Even the violin, a difficult instrument for the best of musicians, was made into an automatic machine which could reproduce the sound of the virtuosos. One contraption consisted of three violins, a rotating bow, and “fingers” pneumatically activated) which depressed the strings at the desired moments.

The automatic instruments were popular and some machines with huge orchestrations sold for $5,000 to $10,000, and sometimes more. Player pianos became so common, however, they sold for as little as $250. Many of the machines can only be seen in museums today.

Fantastic as these inventions were, they still were not as thrilling as a live concert by the masters. The greatest thrill from many music lovers would come not from hearing music—live or otherwise—but from actually playing the instruments.

To be musically talented is a privilege, and some individuals are more talented than others. My daughter, Carolyn, was born with “perfect pitch.” She can tell what key or chord a musician is using, and can even tell on what note a vacuum sweeper hums, or what tone a glass gives when struck with a spoon.

On the other hand, some people are “tone deaf.” They can’t sing on key at all and have great difficulty playing any instrument.

One gift of music, however, is available to everyone, and that is the music of the soul. One of the first things a person who has accepted the Lord Jesus Christ as Savior wants to do is sing, talented or not. Like the Psalmist they can say, “He brought me up also out of an horrible pit, out of the miry clay, and set my feet upon a rock, and established my goings. And he hath put a new song in my mouth, even praise unto our God” (Psalm 40:2, 3).

Music is associated with joy, and the song Jesus gives is filled with joy. Someone said there have been more songs written about the Lord Jesus Christ than any person who ever lived, and that is because He gives a joyous song!

Recently I was in a revival meeting at our church (Abundant Life Christian Center in Arvada, Colorado) where the whole congregation began singing in the Spirit. The melody was spontaneous but filled with harmony and beauty I’d never heard before. The words were praises in prayer languages God gave each individual—yet over 300 voices blended as a mass choir. The talented and tone deaf blended in delightful harmony. The praise came from the soul not from training or natural talents, and the entire congregation was blessed in the awe-inspiring presence of God.

Today music doesn’t have to be played on automatic instruments—it is readily heard on radio, television, even quadraphonic stereo—but men and women long for the song of joy that comes from within.

Talented or not your soul can joyfully sing the song of eternal salvation by submitting your life to Heaven’s Maestro, the Lord Jesus Christ who died to fill your heart with melodies that will flow like a river. If you don’t know Him, I pray you will bow to Him now, and let the sweet harmony begin.

--THE PENTECOSTAL EVANGEL January 11, 1976

Wednesday, April 26, 2017

Why Would God Answer My Prayers?




PRAYERS REWARDED

By Ada Nicholson Brownell



What makes you feel God will answer your prayer? Who do you think you are?

These thoughts came recently as I prayed specifically for something I urgently needed. Immediately I was humbled. I knew I wasn’t worthy of the wonderful things God already had given me, let alone more. A great heaviness covered me.

Only a few days later I noticed the latter part of the verse of Scripture with which I was familiar. Formerly I’d always paid most attention to the first part: “But without faith it is impossible to please him: for he that cometh to God must believe that he is …” But now the rest of the verse caught my attention: “…and that he is the rewarder of them that diligently seek him” (Hebrews 11:6).

Those words came alive to me that day. I realized when we pray, believing God for the answer, we are pleasing Him—not imposing on Him! To please God we must believe that He will reward all who diligently seek Him, and we do that when we pray in faith.

Because I am from a family that believes in prayer, I saw the rewards of diligent prayer early in life. We saw one relative after another surrender his life to God in answer to prayer.

We also saw physical healings. Years ago my mother had a growth come on her eye, and it rapidly increased in size. Two of my aunts, Marge Weekley and Dorothy Howard, fasted and prayed 3 days. At the end of the week the growth fell off.

My mom’s brother, Willie Shepherd, became blind after his one good eye hemorrhaged following cataract surgery. He went to one of the best eye doctors in Colorado and was told nothing could be done for him.

“You might try prayer,” his hometown doctor finally told Willie’s wife.

When we went to see Uncle Willie, he chatted with us awhile and in the course of the conversation he wanted to show us something someone had given him. He felt around on the table in front of him, then in exasperation cried, “I can’t see!”

We sent word to the family to pray. The progress seemed slow, but one day Uncle Willie called me on the phone. The doctor had just taken the bandages off and Willie was crying.

“I can see my coffee cup,” he choked out.

Only a few months later his vision was completely restored, and he got his driver’s license back.

Prayer has brought me through many crises. My sister Erma Sparks found her daughter Pam had numerous lumps under her arms. Doctors said the lumps could indicate any one of several diseases, most of them fatal.

But God answer prayer, and no serious trouble developed.

My sister, Joan, had a large mole removed from her body which was identified as being a malignancy of the worst kind. Surgeons expected the cancer to spread and take her life. God rewarded diligent prayer. Today (2017) she still lives, about 40 years later.

THE PENTECOSTAL EVANGEL, December 26, 1976


Saturday, April 22, 2017

FAITH VS. FEAR




By Ada Brownell

The gondola swung over the chasm while I and our two older children peered down.

My husband stood on the edge of the canyon holding our younger daughter’s hand. He hadn’t been about to go.

I considered why I didn’t fear this ride that terrified others. We couldn’t see them as we rode, but I knew huge cables held the gondola. We could see automobiles slowing crossing the Royal Gorge Bridge below. It was a long ways down. To me it wasn’t much different from riding an elevator or sitting in a Sunday school classroom in the basement while a crowd of heavy people sat above me.

I trusted the cables to hold.

In life I’ve had many situations where I could not see God’s ear listening to my prayer or His hand holding the future. But He was there.

An abnormality showed on my lungs. I’d had horrible bronchitis for many weeks. The pulmonologist did all sorts of tests and prescribed two different inhalers. They were expensive and he said I’d have to take them the rest of my life because I had asthma and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease. I took one of the inhalers, but the cough and wheezing became worse.

In church I went forward for prayer more than once and prayed at home. Usually I do what the doctor orders and practice faith and works as St. James teaches. In other words, believe, pray, and do what I can for myself. We’re blessed with health care in America, and I believe it originated from God, who said in the last days before Christ’s return knowledge would be increased. Yet I knew I needed to quit the inhaler because the problem worsened. Immediately the cough and wheezing disappeared. Two other doctors told me I don’t have asthma or COPD (emphysema).

We’ve had numerous miracles like that in our family, but we lost our oldest daughter to cancer. That’s when I discovered God’s hand still holds when your worst nightmare becomes reality. He gave peace beyond understanding as His Word says.

You can’t borrow that peace in advance by dreaming up things that could happen. It’s only when you need it you can look up and notice you might be hanging over a chasm, but above the cables of God’s love hold.

The Word says, “Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and lean not on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge him and he will direct your paths” (Proverbs 3:5-6).

###




Thursday, April 20, 2017

AN ACT OF AGGRESSION: I'M ALL IN!


I’M ALL IN!


By Ada Nicholson Brownell



Can you imagine a follower of God standing before a great world leader demanding the release of his slaves? Moses did.

Can you imagine a consecrated believer challenging the armies of the enemies of God’s people? David did.

Can you imagine a Christian going out to greet a mob who murdered your Best Friend, telling them they should be sorry for what they did? Peter did.

Often Christians get the idea believers in Christ should be quiet and timid. According to examples I find in the Bible, few committed believers were either.

I’ve wondered what Moses would have accomplished had he timidly and quietly asked God to soften Pharaoh’s heart—instead of obeying God and going to speak to Pharaoh himself.

Or what would have happened to Goliath if David, instead of challenging the giant himself, had only prayed God would send a mighty warrior to kill Goliath.

Or if 3,000 souls would have been saved on the Day of Pentecost if Peter had ignored the crowd assembled outside the Upper Room and slipped quietly to his home to enjoy his new experience with God.

Saints of Bible times showed by their obedience to God that there are times when God wants action as well as prayer.

James describes the successful pattern for God’s work in chapter 2 of his epistle when he spoke of faith and works. He said when we are capable of helping bring about the answer to our needs by obeying God, we better do it.

Many churches would build larger building and win their communities to Christ if faith were all that is necessary. If a congregation could purchase a plot of ground, have a season of prayer and fasting, then one morning wake up and discover a beautiful sanctuary had miraculously appeared on the spot, they’d vote to purchase the ground today. In only a few weeks, faith would fill the pews.

But even though God will provide miracles of finance, other provisions, and revival, He still wants our work—sometimes aggressive work!

I remember one pastor who build one of the largest Pentecostal churches in America. He was aggressive with everyone. When he’d order lumber, he’d ask the salesman if he was a Christian and invite him to church. When he had a men’s meeting, he invited the city dignitaries.

When he filled one building, he wasn’t satisfied. He started making plans to build a larger one. This pastor spent a considerable amount of time in prayer but he didn’t depend on prayer alone.

Jesus taught aggressive action when He said, “Go out into the highways and hedges and compel them to come in” (Luke 14:23).

According to The Cross and the Switchblade, it wasn’t easy when Dave Wilkerson made his aggressive moves into Satan’s territory. At times his actions seemed absurd and turned out to be dangerous. But the effects of his response to God’s call are still being felt worldwide through the ministry of Teen Challenge.

Satan has put much of Christianity into a corner where Christians spend their time in defense. It is time we made plan for aggressive spiritual maneuvers into Satan’s territory.

Let’s win the children in our neighborhoods. Let’s win the teenagers of our town. Let’s get the middle-aged moving back to God. Let’s go after the elderly who are living on the edge of eternity.

We’ll use the armor of God described in Ephesians 6:11-19. But we can’t wait for the battle to come to us. We must move aggressively into Satan’s territory.

With a shout of victory we can march to battle, for we can do all things through Christ (Philippians 4:13).

THE PENTECOSTAL EVANGEL, May 18, 1974


Tuesday, April 18, 2017

A SECOND CHANCE BY ALEXIS A. GORING






REVIEW BY ADA BROWNELL


I rarely read contemporary novels, but I made an exception for this one.

This book is a well-written romance with quite a few speed bumps and pot holes in the path of Traci Hightower, the leading lady.

She's emotionally bruised and mentally sore after being left at the wedding altar because her last boyfriend, her bridegroom, ran off with her maid of honor.

Then Traci inherits the estate of her grandfather and he stipulates she has to wed before she can collect anything, and her mother must approve of the man she chooses.

Well, she's not wanting another man in her life right now. Then she loses her job, is broke and she sure could use some money.

She meets Marc Roberts, a man she might be able to fall for, but he's burned out on women he can't trust.

Will Traci fall in love with a wonderful believing Christian man, or will the inheritance complicate everything?

Note: I received a free copy of this, but that in no way influenced my review.


ABOUT THE AUTHOR:


Alexis A. Goring is a passionate writer with a degree in Print Journalism and an MFA in Creative Writing. She loves the art of storytelling and hopes that her stories will connect readers with the enduring, forever love of Jesus Christ.

Author contact links:






 “God is Love” blog: http://capturingtheidea.blogspot.com

ABOUT THE BOOK:

Newly single food critic and newspaper reporter Traci Hightower is done with dating. After the man of her dreams left her at the altar on their wedding day and ran off with the woman she thought was her best friend, Traci resolves to focus on work and resigns herself to being a bachelorette for life.
Marc Roberts is a political reporter who is known as Mr. Nice Guy, the one who always finishes last. However, Marc’s compassion and kindness are of invaluable help to his newly widowed sister Gina Braxton who is trying to raise her two kids in the wake of her firefighter husband’s death.

Traci and Marc may be the perfect match, but they don’t know it yet. With God’s guidance and the help of Gina’s matchmaking skills honed by her career as a bestselling romance novelist, there is hope for a happily ever after for these two broken hearts.

Purchase link for A Second Chance on Amazon - http://amzn.to/2jUYc9G


GIVEAWAY:
                                       

Two winners will receive a free e-copy of “A Second Chance”.

Enter below!




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April 18: Ink From An Earthen Vessel [http://www.inkfromanearthenvessel.blogspot.com]

April 19: Emily Rachelle Writes [http://emilyrachellewrites.blogspot.com/]

April 20: Tell the World [http://www.thegreaterpurpose.blogspot.com]