Thursday, July 23, 2015

Healing According to The Will of God







And this is the confidence that we have in him, that, if we ask any thing according to his will, he heareth us:  1 John 5:14






God is sovereign and what is impossible with man is possible through God.  

But Jesus beheld them, and said unto them, With men this is impossible; but with God all things are possible.  Matthew 19:26

The key word here is sovereign in that God knows all, sees all and is aware of all.  There are times that healing and deliverance does not come.  Sometimes it is due to our own disobedience to God and His word but there are also times when God's will supersedes our will and desires.  

Always remember, however. . .

The secret things belong unto the Lord our God; but those things which are revealed belong unto us and to our children for ever, that we may do all the words of this law. (Deuteronomy 29:29)

Faith requires just that: Faith. If you have all the answers, you do not need faith. God only asks that you act in faith upon His Word, not provide answers. 

And many lepers were in Israel in the time of Eliseus the prophet; and none of them was cleansed, saving Naaman the Syrian.  Luke 4:27 

We are not told why this was so.

The variables listed below are some of the factors that affect healing and deliverance.
    
     DISOBEDIENCE IN THE HEALING PROCESS

In the healing process, sometimes God gives special instructions which seem foolish to the natural mind. For example, God told Naaman to go wash in the muddy river to receive healing (II Kings 5:1-14). Sometimes a simple act of obedience is all that stands between you and a miracle.

    IMPROPERLY DISCERNING CHRIST'S BODY

Weakness and sickness result because we do not properly discern the Body of Christ. To "discern" is "to learn and understand something by examining, investigating, and discriminating". (I Corinthians 11:27-30)  

And he took the cup, and gave thanks, and gave it to them, saying, Drink ye all of it;  For this is my blood of the new testament, which is shed for many for the remission of sins.  But I say unto you, I will not drink henceforth of this fruit of the vine, until that day when I drink it new with you in my Father's kingdom.  Matthew 26:27-29 

We can fail to discern the Body of Christ in three ways:

  THE MEANING OF THE BLOOD AND FLESH:

We fail to discern when we do not understand the meaning of the fruit of the vine and the bread which are symbolic of His blood and flesh. This is what happened when Jesus first gave this teaching in John 6:66 and many turned back from following Him. They did not understand the spiritual meaning of what He was teaching. While many discern the blood for remission of sins, they often do not understand the true meaning of the body. The body is for healing, so we can eat of it and be healed (see John 6:48-58 and Luke 6:48-51).

 DIVISION IN THE BODY:

Sometimes we fail to discern our relationship to brothers and sisters who are part of the Body of Christ. We eat and drink unworthily if we do not maintain unity with our brothers and sisters in the Lord. Paul explains in I Corinthians 3:1-13 that carnal Christians involved in division cannot eat the meat (flesh, body) of the Word because of their carnality.

  EATING UNWORTHILY:

We eat unworthily when we take communion with an unexamined life. Weakness and sickness result. This is why Paul says to examine yourself spiritually and repent before taking Communion.

  THE EVIL SPIRIT IS NOT CAST OUT

Some do not receive healing because their sickness is the work of an evil spirit which must be cast out. They need more than a prayer for healing. In conditions caused by an evil spirit the Bible records that the enemy was cast out in order for healing to occur.

         COUNTERACTING GOD'S WORK

If you are praying for healing while indulging in harmful practices, you may be counteracting God's work. For example, if you retain bitterness and anger it may affect the healing of related physical disorders such as ulcers, high blood pressure, nervous tension, etc.
    
     VIOLATION OF NATURAL LAWS

The same God that said "I am the Lord that healeth thee" also gave many natural laws for health and cleanliness to His people. Some people do not receive healing because they violate these natural laws. For example, a person may continue to drink alcohol and wonder why they are not healed of their liver condition. They may continue to smoke cigarettes and wonder why God does not heal their lung cancer.
    
     APPOINTED TIME TO DIE

The Bible teaches that there is an appointed time to die 

A time to be born, and a time to die; a time to plant, and a time to pluck up that which is planted;  Ecclesiastes 3:2  

And as it is appointed unto men once to die, but after this the judgment:  Hebrews 9:2

Even the great prophet Elisha, who did many miracles of healing and deliverance, became "sick with the sickness whereof he would die" 

 Now Elisha was fallen sick of his sickness whereof he died. . .  II Kings 13:14

As we contemplate the following questions:

1.         What variables affect healing?
2.         Why don't more people get healed?
3.         Why are some healed while others are not?
3.         Why are sometimes very shallow and worldly Christians healed while more sincere and dedicated people have not yet received healing?

Our attitude should be as that of a famous evangelist who ministered for many years in healing and deliverance. Rev. F.F. Bosworth said:

"I, for one, will preach all the Gospel if I never see another man saved or healed as long as I live. I am determined to base my doctrines upon the immutable Word of God, not upon phenomena (experience)."

(Biblical Studies)


09/30/16

Wednesday, July 22, 2015

Wilt Thou Be Made Whole?





"Wilt thou be made whole?" (John 5:6)





Refusal to be made wholeOften, we seek only healing or deliverance. God wants to deal with the whole man and heal body, soul, and spirit.

Because man is body, soul, and spirit, the concept of wholeness implies dealing with all of these. We cannot emphasize physical health apart from our soul and spirit nor healing apart from salvation. God is a spirit. He relates to you through your spirit. Your spirit governs your physical, mental, spiritual, and emotional life. Your whole life is spiritually based. Because you are a spiritually based being, healing of the body begins in the spirit.

When God created man, man's spirit was to be the governing power of his life on earth. It was to have supremacy over the mind and body and bring them together into a unified whole man in which God would live. Originally, in the Garden of Eden, man was in close spiritual relationship with God.

In prohibiting access to the tree of knowledge in the Garden, God was forbidding man to live on the level of physical and intellectual knowledge. When man sinned his spirit was submerged and he chose to live by his intellect. When his mind ascended above the spirit and took over, the spiritual part of man died (or ceased to function as the source of his response to God and to life). From that time, there was a separation of spirit, mind, and body, which resulted in a lack of harmony between man, his environment, and his creator.

Healing is more than the absence of sickness. It is more than a healthy body. It is the return to proper functioning of every part (body, soul, spirit; including the mind, emotions etc.) in harmony with every other part, the environment, and the Creator.

Lack of decision and desire.  At this point, the lame man had to make a decision. Some people do not want to be healed. They enjoy the sympathy, pity, and attention they receive from being sick. Some receive medical benefits through pensions or legal settlements and they do not want to lose them. Others have a great desire to go be with the Lord and do not want to be healed. Some people use their sickness as an excuse to avoid work and manipulate others.

Deal with such issues with compassion. Do not make people feel guilty for having these feelings. Their sickness has allowed them to exist emotionally until they could be led to a better way of life.

Problems with requests.  There are sometimes problems with requests for healing that hinder its manifestation:

Ø   NOT ASKING:

First, and most basic, is that sometimes we do not ask for healing. We turn to medicine for help or to friends for comfort:

. . . ye have not, because ye ask not. (James 4:2)

Ø   NOT ASKING SPECIFICALLY:

Sometimes, prayers are hindered because they are not specific:

. . . ye ask amiss. . . (James 4:3)

When you are "amiss," you are not specific in your prayers. You did not hit the target.

Ø   ASKING WITH THE WRONG MOTIVE:
Sometimes, we pray with the wrong motive:

Ye ask and receive not, because ye ask amiss, that ye may consume it upon your lusts. (James 4:3)

Some people want to be healed, but do not want to change their sinful, worldly, uncommitted life style. They want to be well so they can go back to doing their own thing.

People should consider these questions:

1.         What is your motive for wanting to get healed?
2.         Is it so you can return to self-centered living?
3.         Is it so you can rush around doing good works instead of accomplishing God's specific purpose for you?

Ø   YOUR PRAYER IS HINDERED:

The Bible identifies several other factors that will hinder receiving answers to your prayers:

-Sin of any kind:                               Psalms 66:18; Proverbs 28:9; Isaiah 1:15; 59:1-2
-Idols in the heart:                           Ezekiel 14:1-3
-An unforgiving spirit:                     Mark 11:25; Matthew 5:23
-Selfishness, wrong motives:          Proverbs 21:13; James 4:3
-Power hungry, manipulative prayers:    James 4:2-3
-Wrong treatment of marriage partner:   I Peter 3:7
-Self-righteousness:                         Luke 18:10-14
-Unbelief:                                          James 1:6-7
-Not abiding in Christ and His Word:        John 15:7
-Lack of compassion:                       Proverbs 21:13
-Hypocrisy, pride, meaningless repetition:                      Matthew 6:5; Job 35:12- 13
-Not asking according to the will of God:              James 4:3
-Not asking in Jesus' name:            John 16:24
-Satanic hindrances:                        Daniel 10:10-13; Ephesians 6:12
-Not seeking first the Kingdom:     Matthew 6:33

Ø   LACK OF PERSEVERANCE:

Sometimes we do not persevere (continue) in prayer long enough. Paul himself had at first preached while being ill (Galatians 4:13-14) and was later healed. Prayer apparently had no immediate effect on Epaphroditus who almost died (Philippians 2:27) and Trophimus who was left behind ill (II Timothy 4:20). Yet they both eventually recovered. (Note also that Paul continued to pray for the sick despite that in these cases there was not immediate healing.)

Some people think if you ask more than once for healing it is lack of faith. Jesus did not teach that persisting in prayer showed lack of faith:

  • He encouraged perseverance.  (Luke 11:1-13)
  • He teaches the importance of persisting in prayer in the parables of the inopportune friend. (Luke 5-8)
  • and the widow and the judge (Luke l-8).

 The example of Daniel also encourages perseverance. God heard his prayer from the first time he prayed it, but Satan hindered the angel who was sent with an answer.

The Prophet Elisha prayed one time for fire to fall from Heaven, but he had to pray seven times for rain to fall. Do not give up if healing does not occur the first time you pray. Remember that there are the "asking, seeking, and knocking" levels of prayer. Sometimes you ask and get an immediate answer. Other times you must seek and continue to knock to receive an answer.

In the natural world, people will go to doctors and hospitals many times until their physical problem is resolved. Why do they lack the perseverance to continue to seek divine healing from God?

Remember: The battle for the body is spiritual warfare manifested in the physical realm. Continue to persevere in prayer until you know your petition is heard. When you have that confirmation in your spirit, then begin to praise God even if you do not yet see visible results:

-Jehoshaphat and the children of Israel began praising God in a loud voice before they actually saw the answer to their prayers.

-Jesus thanked God in advance for raising Lazarus.

-Once Abraham had assurance of the promise of a son, he did not keep on praying. He believed and glorified God.

(Biblical Studies)

Tuesday, July 21, 2015

Healing: When We Don't Know What We Don't Know







The secret things belong unto the Lord our God; but those things which are revealed belong unto us and to our children for ever, that we may do all the words of this law.  (Deuteronomy 29:29)







Why don't more people get healed? Why are some healed while others are not? Why are sometimes very shallow and worldly Christians healed while more sincere and dedicated people have not yet received healing?

These are some of the questions you will face when you minister healing and deliverance. There are many variables that affect healing. A "variable" is a factor that causes different results.

God has promised healing in His Word. We must remember, however, that every promise of God is conditional on the response of man. This is why it is important to understand the variables that affect healing.

Variables in the ministry of healing are reasons why some people get healed and others do not.  It is important to remember that you will never have the answers to every question or problem you encounter in healing and deliverance.

Our human nature wants to understand everything. The first temptation of Eve by Satan centered on this very issue. The desire to know all things stems from rebellion over unanswered questions. This problem of human nature is one you must conquer in order to minister healing and deliverance effectively.

The Bible does reveal some variables that affect healing and deliverance, but you will never have answers to every question in this area. If you did, you would have no need of faith. The Bible is clear that some things are revealed to us, while others are not:

The secret things belong unto the Lord our God; but those things which are revealed belong unto us and to our children for ever, that we may do all the words of this law. (Deuteronomy 29:29)

In healing and deliverance, you must learn to put aside unanswered questions and leave the secret things with the Lord.

Healing and deliverance are part of the Gospel just like salvation. When you minister healing and deliverance and some do not receive, you may be tempted to give up. But consider this: Do you stop preaching salvation just because everyone who hears the message does not get saved?

Why then are you so quick to stop ministering healing and deliverance because not everyone receives? Most likely because in healing and deliverance, pride enters in. You tend to be embarrassed when you pray for a visibly sick person and they do not get healed. Others can see this because it is external. If someone responds for salvation but does not really get saved, people cannot see it because it is internal. Your pride is affected by what people can see externally.

You will never have answers for all the variables that affect healing any more than you will for the factors that affect responses to salvation. Some get saved, some do not. Some get healed, some do not. However, the Bible does reveal some of the variables that affect healing and deliverance. It is important for you to understand these so you can help others work through them to receive healing.

Here are some of the most common variables:

LACK OF TEACHING

Lack of knowledge about healing, its principles, source, how to exercise faith, and receive it can affect healing. God said:

My people are destroyed for lack of knowledge. (Hosea 4:6)

Jesus said:

Ye do err, not knowing the Scriptures nor the power of God.   (Matthew 22:29)

Some people do not receive healing because they do not understand God's Word and His power.

Faith for healing comes by hearing the Word of God concerning healing

So then faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the word of God.  (Romans 10:17)

The Bible calls the Word of God the seed. Some people try to reap a harvest of healing without the Word of healing being planted in their hearts. The seed cannot work unless it is in you. Before saying "I am the Lord that healeth thee," God first said, "If thou wilt diligently hearken unto my Word.” The Word precedes healing.

How many people would get saved if they never heard a message on salvation? How many would get saved if the main points of a salvation message were:

            -It may not be God's will to save you.
            -Your sin is for God's glory.
            -The day of salvation is past.

Yet we hear these statements about healing:

            -It may not be God's will to heal you.
            -Your sickness is for God's glory.
            -The day of healing is past.

People must be taught the Word of God regarding healing just as they are taught about salvation. It is the seed of the Word about healing that brings forth a harvest of healing.

UNBELIEF

Unbelief may result from. . .

            1.         Thinking God cannot heal.
            2.         Thinking God can heal, but He may not choose to heal me.
            3.         Thinking God can heal, and He may heal me, but not now.
            4.         An environment of unbelief that prevents healing.

There are several Biblical examples of how unbelief hindered the work of God. In the city of Nazareth Jesus. . .

. . . did not many mighty works there because of their unbelief.   (Matthew 13:58)

Jesus was amazed that people would not believe:

And He marveled because of their unbelief. . .   (Mark 6:6)

The Bible says:

But let him ask in faith, nothing wavering, For he that wavereth is like a wave of the sea driven with the wind and tossed. For let not that man think that he shall receive any thing of the Lord. A double minded man is unstable in all his ways. (James 1:6-8)

Read the story of the healing of Jarius' daughter in Mark 5:35-40. You will discover that those who hindered the environment of faith were put out of the room while Jesus ministered healing.  Communal unbelief is one of the main reasons we do not see healing and deliverance flowing in our churches as God intends. We are members one of another. If part of our spiritual body does not believe in healing, this unbelief hinders its flow in our midst.

The Bible says, "These signs shall follow THEM that believe." This verse is speaking of believers (the Church). The verse does not say "him that believes," referring to an individual. It was not the faith of one or two solitary evangelists that resulted in the healings recorded in the book of Acts. It was the faith of a Spirit-filled Church as a whole.

If Jesus could do no mighty works in Nazareth because of their (communal) unbelief, is it not also true that our communal unbelief hinders healing? Today a large part of the Church is opposing that for which the early Church prevailed in prayer. They have not accepted the Biblical attitude towards sickness. They have not been taught the Word of God about healing. Yet, they point to those who fail to receive healing as an accusation against those trying to minister healing. But it is a failure for which they communally are largely responsible.

We see more salvations because there is almost universal acceptance of the doctrine of salvation in fundamental churches. But we do not see many healings because we are often compelled to labor in the face of tradition, rejection, and unbelief.

Those who preach the full Gospel of salvation with healing and deliverance are often obliged to labor in a "Nazareth" of unbelief. As a people of God, like the sick man who came to Jesus, we need to cry out,

"Lord, we believe. . . Help our unbelief" (Mark 9:24).

Unbelief is the attitude that God cannot or will not do something. Absence of unbelief does not necessarily mean you have faith. For example, an atheist does not believe in God. An agnostic is neutral. The lack of unbelief on the part of an agnostic does not mean he has faith in God.

If communal unbelief does not affect the flow of the healing ministry, why did Jesus not minister in fullness in Nazareth?

LACK OF FAITH

You must replace unbelief with faith in God because it is the prayer of faith that raises up the sick:

And the prayer of faith shall save the sick, and the Lord shall raise him up; and if he have committed sins, they shall be forgiven him.  (James 5:15)

 You must appeal in faith, speak words of faith, and act in faith. You must walk by faith and not sight. "Walking by sight" is looking to the condition of your body or symptoms. Satan tries to prevent healing by getting you to look at symptoms and to others who claimed to be healed, but were not.

It is not faith in your faith or faith in the faith of another. Faith does not heal. It is God who heals. Paul perceived the cripple had faith to be healed by God (Acts 14:8-10). It does not take a "great amount" of faith to be healed. Jesus said faith the size of a mustard seed was very powerful. Jesus met people at the level of their faith. Where they felt it was necessary to have His bodily presence, He went. Where they believed it was not necessary, He spoke the Word from a distance and healing occurred.

When the sick are not healed, people usually try to say lack of faith is the reason. But there are many other variables to consider.  Jesus never condemned people who sought healing for their lack of faith. In the Biblical record, sometimes faith was a factor in healing, while other times it does not seem to be a factor.


LACK OF POWER

Jesus told His disciples to wait in Jerusalem until they were endued with power by the Holy Spirit. Sometimes healing does not occur because of lack of power of the one ministering. Perhaps they have not received the endument of power by the Holy Spirit described in Acts 4. Perhaps they substitute love and sympathy for the sick in place of power. They may pray prayers of comfort rather than healing prayers. Their lack of power may result from doctrinal error or tradition.

PERSONAL UNCONFESSED SIN

The Bible confirms a direct relationship between individual sin and sickness in some cases.

Confess your faults one to another, and pray one for another, that ye may be healed. The effectual, fervent prayer of a righteous man availeth much. (James 5:16)

David said, "If I regard iniquity in my heart, the Lord will not hear me."  (Psalms 66:18)

God has not promised to destroy the works of Satan in the body while a person is clinging to the works of the Devil in their soul.  If there is iniquity in the heart of the one who is sick, he may not be healed. If there is iniquity in the heart of the one ministering, healing may not occur because the Lord is not hearing him.

An unforgiving spirit or holding a grudge hinders healing. Jesus said,

"If ye forgive not men their trespasses, neither will your Heavenly Father forgive your trespasses."  (Matthew 6:15)

 If God cannot forgive you when you do not forgive others, He cannot completely heal you, for healing involves wholeness of soul, spirit, and body.



Wednesday, July 15, 2015

This is me . . .


According to my earnest expectation and my hope, that in nothing I shall be ashamed, but that with all boldness, as always, so now also Christ shall be magnified in my body, whether it be by life, or by death.  Philippians 1:20

Lately, I have come under attack in several 'Christian' communities and even banned because my beliefs  may seemingly vary from theirs.  One would expect this from Atheists and other non-believers, but lovers and followers of God?  I am astounded!

My sole purpose in the Google community is to share the word of God to the lost and the seeking; to prayerfully help the weak, the questioning and the floundering with words of encouragement, edification, and empowerment.  My position is this:


When someone asks me what are my beliefs or my faith, this is my response:

I believe God, His word is true and it is His truth that I live by.  I believe that God loves the world that He created so much, that He sent His only son to die for our sins; that when the first sin was committed, He set in motion a plan for our salvation.  Jesus is the propitiation for our sins.   We are given that plan through His word: 

  • Baptism in Jesus name:
Now when they heard this, they were pricked in their heart, and said unto Peter and to the rest of the apostles, Men and brethren, what shall we do?38 Then Peter said unto them, 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. (Acts 2:38)

Be it known unto you all, and to all the people of Israel, that by the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, whom ye crucified, whom God raised from the dead, even by him doth this man stand here before you whole.  This is the stone which was set at nought of you builders, which is become the head of the corner.  Neither is there salvation in any other: for there is none other name under heaven given among men, whereby we must be saved.  (Acts 4:10-12)
  • Receipt of the Holy Spirit:
Jesus answered, Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born of water and of the Spirit, he cannot enter into the kingdom of God.  (John 3:5)

But the Comforter, which is the Holy Ghost, whom the Father will send in my name, he shall teach you all things, and bring all things to your remembrance, whatsoever I have said unto you.  
(John 14:26)

  • Belief that Jesus is our Savior:
That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved.  (Romans 10:9)

  • Belief in the triune nature of God:  (God the father, God the son and God, the Holy Spirit)
In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.  The same was in the beginning with God.  All things were made by him; and without him was not any thing made that was made.  

. . . And the Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us, (and we beheld his glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father,) full of grace and truth.  (John 1:1-3, 14)
  • Religions/Denominations:
I do not put a lot of stock in denominations because I understand that God requires a relationship with Him that includes following His word.  When we make it to heaven, we will not be sectioned off according to our religious denomination.  God tells us to be Holy even as God is holy.  He tells us to follow peace with all men.  He tells us to love Him first and love others even as we love ourselves.

Because it is written, Be ye holy; for I am holy.  I Peter 1:16

Follow peace with all men, and holiness, without which no man shall see the Lord:  Hebrews 12:14

Jesus said unto him, Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind.  This is the first and great commandment.  And the second is like unto it, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself.  Matthew 22:37-39

And this is love, that we walk after his commandments. This is the commandment,That, as ye have heard from the beginning,ye should walk in it.  2nd John 1:6

I am a member of a fellowship/church because the God tells us in His word:

Not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together, as the manner of some is; but exhorting one another: and so much the more, as ye see the day approaching.
  (Hebrews 10:25)


Following this, the word of God, through the recorded accounts and illustrations and the example given to us by Jesus, is our road map on our path to salvation.  Some have condemned me to hell; how is that when that was not the mission of Jesus:


And if any man hear my words, and believe not, I judge him not: for I came not to judge the world, but to save the world. (John 12:47)

For God sent not his Son into the world to condemn the world; but that the world through him might be saved.  (John 3:17)


Having said that, I am sure that not everyone is in agreement with what I believe to be right according to God's word.  I am fine with that; it doesn't stop me from voicing my beliefs nor should it cause you to shun, dislike, defame lambaste, ridicule, and call me names.  I expect this from Atheists and others who do not believe in God or the bible.  But from Christians who proclaim to love God, this behavior is so unacceptable.  

The sad thing is that it goes out on the internet for all to see.  It makes me sad for the lost; for those who are searching and seeking to see this type of behavior within the body of Christ.  It is not acceptable.  After all, Jesus said this:

By this shall all men know that ye are my disciples, if ye have love one to another.  (John 13:35)


What must they think?

I shared this account with one christian individual who really upbraided me concerning one of my blogs and really called me out in a derogatory manner:  Priscilla and Aquila.  These two individuals are wonderful examples of how we talk to each other when explaining something that may be in error.  They told Apollos of a better way.

And he began to speak boldly in the synagogue: whom when Aquila and Priscilla had heard, they took him unto them, and expounded unto him the way of God more perfectly. (Acts 18:26)

Let's stop shaming God on the internet by tearing down each other.  I am always open to constructive criticism if you find doctrinal error in my blogs, but please be tactful and follow the example given to us by our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ.

Blessings to all of my brothers and sisters in Christ!

____________________________________________

I am happy today that I am no longer "called out" in a derogatory manner any longer and the assignment that God put me on to share His word is being accepted.  It is a truth that if God started it, man cannot stop it!

09/29/16