Consider contemplating the meditation by this author entitled “Prayer”, as well. It is to be read [applied] with this subject.
It is actually really simple. Answer the following questions:
1. Do you follow Jesus Christ? Are you sure? Perhaps first read on (Mt 10:8; Jn 4:24; 1 Jn 2:4; Js 1:6-8)?
2. Do you lay hands on the sick? If not, why not – Lk 6:46? (Mk 16:16-20; Mt 10:8). (And if you say it was for “them” only, read Jn 17:15-20…)
3. Do you get all you ask for ? Why not? Jesus said you can (Mk 11:24; Jn 14:10-15)!
4. 1 Pet 2:24 is a done deal. Don’t insult God by begging Him (Mt 6:5-8) as if He must make a new decision about your health! You should actually believe God and this will manifest your healing – when you can truly say “Thank You” to God before seeing…
5. Careful with what you believe, teach or propagate! (Mt 7:15-23; 13:41-43; 15:6-9; Rom 12:9). You’ll find that the wicked (twisted) religious tradition, ceremonies and rituals, such as periodic “quiet time” and “Church meetings” are riddled with myth and nowhere near “dwelling” with God, yet. “Dwell” is a fixed position. The other meditations, such as “Church” on this website expand on this.
First, let’s slaughter a holy cow
1. God uses no sickness to bring people closer to Him! If something goes wrong (on earth, amongst us), God uses the faith of a person to show that you have [His] power [available to you] over any sickness. You’ve had it all along (Eph 1:3; 2 Pet 1:3-11; 1 Pet 1:18) since Jn 19:30! This is expanded on in the meditations such as “Mixing Old and New”, “The Gospel”, and so on.
2. Sickness is not of God – it will not save you but destroy you! Carefully consider Jn 10;10 with Mt 13:27-28,37-40.
It is shocking that “Christians” (1 Jn 2:4 [Jn 14:6]; Gal 1:6-9) confuse two opposites, namely adversity and suffering on one side, with healing and deliverance on the other. We will examine Scriptures such as Jn 10:10; Is 5:18-20 and Jer 29:11 later in this meditation. It is shocking that people think the Healer caused sickness just because He is always available for us if we approach Him, and then directly (1 Tim 2:5; Heb 4:15-16)! The fact that God is always there for us, does not mean He used adversity as if it’s the way to Him! This is a wicked premise and sick reasoning. Let us consider this, shall we? But, before continuing, seriously ponder Jesus’ words in Mk 7:13 and 12:24. 3. In the New Testament, sickness is not a form of punishment for sin! (1 Pet 2:24; Heb 10:14; 1 Thess 5:9,23; Rom 8:29-39. Read this with the meditation “Mixing of Old and New”.)
Now, let’s look at this in more detail and move on… God is the Healer, the Giver [Source] of Life. In Him is no shadow of wickedness, calamity, nothing negative or bad. He has made promises and provision for our welfare and for life. Jesus Christ [God, the express image of God, Jn 1:1-4,14; 14:6-15], made no one sick at any time (Mt 10:8; Jn 10:10). When we show the trust in His Word, to speak it with conviction, He will see to it that that word of His accomplish what He had in mind. God is the Initiator [Source] of all good, not us “asking” for Him to be good now… Js 1:13,17; Jer 29:11-13; Is 55:9-11; Mt 10:1,8; Jn 17:15-26; Mk 16:16-20; 1 Pet 2:24.
Note at Jn 9:3b. Be very careful here to not misinterpret the statement Jesus made. Jesus did not say that God caused this man’s blindness just so that He could show that He can heal such infirmity! This would mean God is cruel, sadistic, insecure and a manipulator! No! No, Jesus rather pointed out that this blindness was (i) not due to the man’s own sin (for he was born blind), nor (ii) due to the sin of his parents; but while the defect that happened [allowed by God as part and parcel of us being free moral agents with a complete and absolute free will on earth], presents an opportunity, God will [can] readily show His Love, grace, mercy, will for our well being and all that is only for our good, by healing completely without us having to earn it first. We just have to believe it! Ponder the meditation “The will of God” for a fuller exegesis of this great truth
Note on Mt 10:8. This command to go and heal the sick (not to beg of Him “If it be Your will…”), was not only for the twelve people Jesus was addressing then but all of us following Him – see the Lord’s prayer, Jn 17:15-20; and 2 Tim 3:16-17. Then Jesus’ words in Jn 14:9-15. Js 5:14-15 says that if we are still ignorant, we can go to the spiritually more mature and experience the benefit of their faith [trust and following] in Jesus’ words. Jesus clearly taught that we ought to show results if we follow Him – Mk 16:16-20; Eph 4:12-25.
Note that God has already made all the provision necessary [already willed it], it is us that must come in line with God’s will and provision and exercise our spiritual authority here and now – Eph 1:3; 1 Pet 2:24; 2 Pet 1:3-4. More about this further on in this meditation as well as the others on www.gospel-truth.co.za, such as “The will”, Mixing Old and New”, “The Gospel”, “Christian suffering”, and so on.
Note on Js 5:16. This is not saying that you have no power to heal the sick or yourself [with Christ inside of you] unless you confess and have others pray over you. The confession referred to here is not a prerequisite for physical healing. The word “healing” here refers not to a physical disease but rather to the spiritual tone of mind, the heart, the wholeness of the person to be able to experience a free and joyful life and not to remain trapped in false steps, wrong thoughts or wrongful and hostile acts towards each other in bitterness and offense (even in thoughts, Mt 5:27-28). It implies a peaceful and healthy balance in Spirit-soul-body (refer to the meditation on Spirit, soul, body). This particular verse expands the healing (wholeness) to the whole being. Read this “healing” [wholeness] with Mt 5:23-26; 7:12; Rom 4:7-8; and 12:14-21. Note also that Jesus was pointing out in Mt 5:39-48, that even the OT Law was given with compensation in mind but that man in his self-centredness and self-righteousness interpret it to mean retaliation. We’re not to be cowards in witnessing (2 Tim 1:7; Heb 10:38); but we must consistently apply Mt 7:12. Fear and faith are [opposing] results, not something that we create. Pain is a result from getting hurt. Cold is the absence of heat; and evil is the result where Jesus is resisted. Consider Jn 16:9.
As a matter of fact, for those thinking they need help from a group, first carefully and prayerfully combine Js 5:16c, that says that tremendous power is released by the prayer of a [singular] righteous man, with 1 Jn 4:4 (Jn 14:23,26; Rev 21:3) + Phil 3:9!!! If Jesus Christ is your righteousness, it is His prayer in agreement with you (Rom 8:26-39; 1 Jn 2:1-3); hence 1 Pet 2:24 (Jn 19:30)!!!
Note on Is 45:7. This is not saying that God cause any adversity, it is God saying that He takes responsibility – to the extent of Jn 3:14-21; Heb 5:9. God is not to blame for anything man does or think (1 Cor 14:33), but God is the Creator and sole Author and Source of Life, the Author and Finisher of [to consummate, perfect] our faith. See the meditation ‘The Will’ by the author for a further exegesis on the free will of man and the will of God. Fear is distrust in the Word of God, and is the result of believing [trusting] the world’s knowledge and perception of a situation. Faith is the result when we believe [trust] the Word [promises, knowledge] of God. Contemplate Eph 3:17-21; 4:17,18; Phil 4:6-8; Col 1:19; Heb 10:19-23; Rom 4:21…
Understanding a few points is required right at the start of pondering this subject.
- You have to trust in the finished work of Christ Jesus. Not in any ability or idea of self worth you have, but Jesus Christ (1 Pet 2:24; Mt 10:1,8; Jn 17:18-20; Acts 14:11)
- His anointing resting on you (Lk 4:1,14,18; Is 61; 10:27; Acts 5:15;19:11,12; Mk 5; Jn 17:15-26)
- You must have an intense desire to heal the sick. Not pity, but compassion. If you detest sickness, you probably have God’s intent (anointing, Phil 2:13; Mt 8:16; 10:8) to destroy it. Pity and counseling does not bring healing, it wallows in “self” and hardly ever gets past fear and powerless recipes, steps to follow, and diluting dogma accepting the fate of the defeated.
- You must have boldness to speak His Word (Heb 3:14-16; 1 Jn 3:20-21; 2 Tim 1:7; Rom 12:9)
- Yes, His Word – Ps 107:20; Is 53; Jer 1:12; Rom 8:29-39; Phil 4:6-8,13,19; and so on…
- Believe in the self-fulfilling power of His Word (Is 61:11 Ampl) and His hand [ultimate power] will be stretched out over you and them; and signs and wonders will follow to bring Him glory (Mk 16:17-20)
- Know His Name. It is not a formula or magic, but the power [Spirit Word] of almighty God.
- “Lord” means “maximum power”, so there can only be one Lord. – “Christ” means “anointed by God”, meaning the power of God – Life everlasting.
- Believe God commissioned you – Mt 10:8; Lk 9:1,2; Jn 14:12; 17:17-20… (otherwise you might trip someone from their faith by placing a burden on them if it was you, and those observing…)
- Be convinced God brings no sickness (Ex 15:26; Mt 4:23; Mk 16:16-20; Js 1:17; Ps 107:20…).
In other words, God does not need the devil (sickness) to teach anyone a lesson (Zech 4:6), this is man’s flawed reasoning and wicked mentality (Is 5:18-21; 55:6-13; Jer 17:9 with Jn 14:13-16; 16:23; Rom 8:5,6; 15:6; 1 Cor 2:16; 3:20; 14:20; Ps 139:6; Lk 11:11; Js 1:17; 1 Thess 5:23,24; and so on). Num 20:9 was for their physical healing as well (Jn 3:14,15; 8:28; 12:32,34; 1 Cor 10:9; Is 45:2-7,22; Ps 105-107).
The point is this: God is perfect in every way, He does things for our good and protection only, we are the ones that distorts His intention [will] with man’s reasoning and philosophies and then calls it dogma, logic and reason. Man tries to rationalize hurt, manipulation, infliction, not God. He wants it destroyed (Is 54:13-17!), so He did not cause it – we allowed [accept] it! He commissioned us to preach the good news [HIS gospel], heal the sick… Man twisted [misquoted, misused] His Name, and so Jesus came to restore His Name. Ask like this… hallowed be Thy Name, then [it can be that] Your kingdom come, let Your will be done, on earth as in heaven…. Get that? His authority, not our [man’s] idea.
Note that many believers [not yet followers] admit God does not directly tempt (Gr apu), but deep down suspects God of indirect [remote] guilt in that He is somewhere behind it because He is ultimately in “control” (Gr. Upu). This is wrong.
Five profound proofs that God cannot, and therefore will not tempt [at all], is given in Js 1:12-18. It relates to trials and tribulations (verse 12)
– God allows it so our shallowness [distrust, lack of faith, sin, double-mindedness by trying to following the law also] can be removed [exposed] and for us to have the opportunity to show our genuineness of our enduring love for HIM. In other words, He knows what Heb 2:8 states, He and the whole world is waiting on us to start manifesting our sonship (Rom 8:17,19)! A great privilege and honour, indeed – by God’s goodness, kindness, grace and mercy alone! His grace is unmerited favour out of His own free will, we cannot earn it or qualify for it – Jesus paid for it. Jesus provided it free of charge. Our appropriation will show in the victorious and prosperous and joyful lives we live. God [as Source of Righteousness] will “promote” us, if we pass the test of obedience.
Obedience to the Words of Jesus Christ – that He is our righteousness – triggers a law of God, and shows faith [trust, reliance, commitment in HIS Word, promises]. And then not as a “good work”, for the good works of Jesus were His signs, miracles, healings, His being only led by Father (Jn 5:19; Rom 8:14; Jn 14:26; 17:20…). If you in any way try to impress God, you do not know how big and mighty He is. You can only impress [imprint] on something softer [lesser] than you. Think about it. Now, before continuing, consider the following very important point – God is ONLY GOOD. Don’t be trapped, tripped, or deceived like Eve was (has God not said…)! Beware (2 Cor 3:13-15; 10:5; 11:3). This is saying the plain gospel is: loathe self-righteousness, accept Jesus Christ as your righteousness + holiness. Follow HIS Voice only, reflect His Light, His glory, His everlasting Life. Even in most worldly courts, the following principles hold:
– Anyone is assumed innocent, until proven guilty
– Any reasonable doubt [of guilt] will drop the case against the accused Now then, consider this about the Lord, and see if ignorance has made us utter foolish words
– God is Love (1 Jn 4:8; 1 Cor 13; Ps 34:8; 145:17), and His [kind of, agape] Love does not hurt, fly off the handle, is not resentful, takes no account of evil done – Jesus took God’s wrath. We get what He deserved if we trust Him enough to believe His words (Heb 9)
– In Him is no shadow of change (Js 1:17; Heb 13:8), and all good is from Him
– He is not underhanded. Our heavenly Father is perfect in every way, He is Father-God, not [a] god-father! Abba Father (Rom 8:13-17) means a true Father that is able, willing and active to be only good and stays good only! Father-God is not a Person of doubtful character, He is not a child-basher, a child molester, a saboteur, a terrorist, a manipulator, or a sadist!
– God does not use [need] the devil to do His “dirty work” (2 Cor 6:14,15; Jn 8:42-50) – Mt 5:39-48 – Jn 10:10 (the thieves are the false “law” preachers making us feel condemned); 16:33.
– The N.T. is a better deal than the O.T. They do not co-exist in believers in the gospel of Jesus Christ! Consider Heb 7 and 9 (especially noting Heb 7:19,22; 8:13; 10:9-14; and so on).
– God – through Jesus – is now our Father who is at peace with us! Jesus brought peace between God and us believing HIM [His Words], not peace between unbelievers (Lk 2:14; Mt 10:34; Jn 15:17-23 (Remember Jn 8:23-59 was about the religious Jews who said they believed Jesus is the Messiah, but Jesus said only those who follow Him, or stays in His Word are His – not the law, Moses, or self-attempts at righteousness. (Mt 7:16-24). This is not an “I do to earn” [law], but “I believe Jesus earned and paid [provided] for me”; and I will exercise my authority in Him.
Five proofs that God cannot tempt [sin] – as referred to in James 1:12-18
1. The nature of God. Sin cannot penetrate the holiness of God. Evil is no part of God, but is who Satan is, the adversary (Lk 10:18; Rev 12:9; Jn 16:11). The combination of bad [sin] with good, blessing with calamity, has it’s origin in Satan – the “self” proclaimer, the counterfeit (Gen 2:9; 1 Cor 2:14; 2 Cor 4:3-7). Know Jesus and keep listening to His voice – Jn 10:27,28.
2. The nature of man[kind]. The enemy is within: the Adamic nature since the fall (Rom 5:12-14; 8:5-8; 1 Cor 15:45-47; Mk 7:15; Jer 10:14,15; 17:9), and set right – for those accepting it – by Jesus Christ. Passion, the longing to be satisfied negatively, is called lust [out of own free choice, will].
3. The nature of lust. Sin is not a single act [slip], but the end of a process that involves a sequence (Js 1:15). This is what God “hates” [cannot stand for] – Ez 18:4; Prov 24:9.
Lust starts with desire [epothumia], a feeling of longing [misplaced longing for God – Love – designed to fill us] to be satisfied. This feeling is emotion, as part of the soul, and is self-centred, self-conscious, completely unlike Love (God) that culminates His Love in Jesus Christ, the Servant-King that now is Lord. We must serve Him, He should not serve us! The fool misplace and confuse the need for the gospel by seeking to gratify and deify the philosophies, dogma and popular ideas of self [mankind], and becomes a taker [user], not a giver. A wise man will realize [have ears to hear] that confusion is a state of mind, and therefore see that the [unrenewed] mind cannot be trusted, but only the Word of God (Rom 10:17; Ps 95:10; Prov 4:23; 15:13; 16:123; 23:7: Mt 5:28 and so on). The power is in the Spirit [of God, His resurrection Life] inside of you, not in your mind. This thought [process] is then formed into a design by the will(another part of the self-conscious soul). This becomes an action [conceived through, was fed by contemplation, and given birth to]. This process ends in ungodly actions, that reflects distrust in God’s Word, as a product of the un-renewed mind [soul] of someone yet to be re-born of God. This sin is the disobedience ignoring God’s Love (Jesus Christ), not taking Him seriously. This is haughtiness toward God (1 Pet 5:5). Again, the fool thinks himself wise, while God knows his heart (1 Cor 1:18-21; 3:18-20; Rom 12:3). Jesus summarised His mission [incarnation] in Jn 12:45-50. Consider Heb 3:12-19; 1 Sam 15:22; 1 Jn 3:8, and the need for a personal relationship. He wants you to call Him Father and so He calls you son! Remember Jesus Christ was a Son. Be mature, a royal priest, ruling [thoughts] in a kingdom on earth!
4. The nature of God’s gifts. All that God gives, are for ultimate good only. God gives nothing that is detrimental to mankind (Js 1:17), and this can never change (:17b; Heb 13:8). His ultimate gift is Himself, to reconcile us with Him. And He succeeded (Jn 19:30)
5. The nature of our new birth. Verse 18. God is a Rescuer. According to the laws of first fruits, Jesus demonstrated what to do with oneself… Remember Rom 8:5-14 – the mind of the flesh is sense and reason without Holy Spirit, is spiritual death. God provided a new Life to cope with this life on earth – Jn 17:15; 16:13; Phil 4:13. Contemplate 2 Cor 5:17-21; Col 3:1-3; with Jn 12:27-37. Jesus saves, heals (body, soul, and spirit), and delivers, the One Who gave His sinless Life. To lay your life down for someone [in commitment and faithfulness] is far superior to just dying for someone. But He was the sacrificial Lamb of God as well –to pay for us what we could not. God gave us faith [the capacity, the mechanism, the grace – Rom 12:3]. Don’t die for God, Live for Him! Rom 8:1-4,19-34… 5.
6. Deception. This lust takes the bait [trap] through the intellect that rationalise why it has a right to it (1 Cor 6:17-20). This intellect [mind] is also part of the self-centred, reasoning, soul. Also, if we differentiate between sicknesses, for example thinking “advanced terminal cancer” or “H.I.V.” is worse than a headache, we are effectively making a certain infirmity or sickness “lord”… above the Lord Jesus Christ (Phil 2:9)! Lk 1:37 – is it yes or no or in degrees? Is Eph 1:19-23 true or not? “In His Name” speaks of a relationship, not a formula or an uncertain threat. It speaks of following Jesus, not the law (we will show a life bearing His fruit, results, if Rom 8:14,15; Jn 1:12,13); or thieves stealing our sonship by preaching self-righteous attempts at impressing with law (Jn 10:1-10; 2 Cor 3). A child is still immature (Gal 4), a son (Gal 3:28) is a Son like Jesus was to His Father (Jn 17:15-20; 14:10-14, noting v. 15 “commandments” actually reads “teachings”, “sayings”, “precepts”). Think of this example: A sickly, tiny man, one day before retirement, wears a traffic officer’s uniform and badge. He moves in front of a huge hulk of a man driving an expensive thousand hp vehicle, and signals with his skinny arm and wrinkled little hand – stop. What is the reaction – and feeling inside – of that big man? Why? Because of the authority backing up that small figure with the badge on his chest. He was stopping this goliath in the name of the whole of the government with all of its clout. Mk 11:24 starts with “for this reason”, which is mentioned in v. 23, which is speaking about faith sufficient to cast a mountain [Sinai, legalism] into the sea [lowest on earth]. But this is a teaching on its own, suffice for now to be enticed to learn more about “in His Name”, and that it is following Jesus’ teachings and Voice (1 Jn 2:4) in His authority, not that of man proposing we must follow the 10 commandments to be saved, or to stay saved. If we understand this, we understand Jn 1:12-17; Rom 8; and 1 Jn 3 correctly (to name but a few Scriptures). See the discussion on “the gospel” by the author.
Note at Mt 8:16: There are at least 17 times in the gospels where Jesus healed all of the sick that were present (Mt 4:23-24; 8:16-17; 9:35; 12:15; 14:14,34-36; 15:30-31; 19:2; 21:14; Mk 1:32-34,39; 6:56; Lk 4:40; 6:17-19; 7:21; 9:11; 17:12- 17). There are 47 other times where He healed one or two people at a time (Mt 8:1-4,5-13,14-15,28-34; 9:1-8,20-33; 12:10-13,22-23; 15:21-28; 17:14-18; 20:30-34; Mk 1:21-31,40- 45; 2:1-12; 3:1-5; 5:1-20,25-43; 7:24-37; 8:22-26; 9:14-29; 10:46-52; Lk 4:33-39; 5:12-15,17-26; 6:6-10; 7:1-17; 8:27- 39,43-56; 9:37-42; 11:14; 13:11-17; 14:1-5; 18:35-43; 22:51; Jn 4:46-54; 5:2-15; 9:6-7; 11:43-44). Nowhere do we find Jesus refusing to heal anyone. In light of Jesus’ statement that He could do nothing of Himself but only what He saw the Father do (Jn. 5:19 and 8:28-29; 12:44-50), His actions are proof enough that it is always God’s will to heal (Col 1:15; Heb 1:3; Jn 4:23,24,37-38).
Note at Mt 20:16: The use of the word “chosen” here does not mean that God has limited salvation to only a select few [especially the Jews that rejected and crucified Christ]. Salvation is a free gift to everyone (Jn 3:15-17; Rom 10:13; Tim 2:11; Rev 22:17), but not everyone will be saved (Jn 3:17-21; Mt 7:13-14). This is not because God is unwilling to save some (2 Pet 3:9) but rather because some are not willing to repent and receive salvation God’s way (Acts 4:12), and is offended by God. Therefore, God calls all to repentance but only chooses those for salvation who meet Him, as in Romans 10:9; 12:9.
Note at Mt 8:17: The fact that this verse substitutes “infirmities” and “sicknesses” for the words “sorrows” and “griefs” in Isaiah 53:4 makes it clear that when Isaiah said “with his stripes we are healed” (Is 53:5), he was speaking of the physical healing of our bodies. Jesus provided for physical healing as well as forgiveness of sins. The very word “save” (Gk.-“sozo”) is translated “made whole” in reference to physical healing in Mt 9:22, Mk 5:34, and Lk 8:48. Js 5:15 says “the prayer of faith shall save (Gk.-“sozo”) the sick.” Many scriptures mention the healing of our bodies in conjunction with the forgiveness of our sins. Examples are Psalm 103:3; Is 53:4-6; and 1 Peter 2:24. Healing of a body is a part of our salvation, just as much as the forgiveness of our sins. 1 Thess 5:23 speaks of body, and soul and spirit being whole at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ. See the meditation entitled “The Testimony”.
Note 1 at Mt 8:15: Jesus often healed people by touching them (Mt 8:3; 9:29; 20:34; Mk 7:33; Lk 7:14; 22:51), and others received their healing as they touched Jesus (Mt. 14:36; Mk. 3:10; 5:28-30; 6:56; 8:22). Luke 6:19 reveals that the reason this happened was that “there went virtue (or power) out of him, and healed them all.” we can transmit the power or the anointing of God through the laying on of hands (Mk 16:18; Heb. 6:2). It seems that the virtue of God can even be transmitted to objects and then brought to the person who needs healing or deliverance (Acts 19:11-12). But please know it is by faith in Jesus’ finished work (1 Pet 2:24) and not an artefact for dead, inanimate objects do not emanate holiness (Mt 10:8; Jn 14:6). For those spreading a dogma whereby they give their followers “holy/blessed” handkerchiefs or items whereby they are supposedly blessed as if protected by a sort of magic charm or voodoo, is misleading and dangerous [false]. Consider the context and then be warned by even just Acts 19:15-16. That specific demonstration of using handkerchiefs or cloths that were in contact with Paul’s body, was stipulated as unusual (Acts 19:11) and possibly for a specific purpose, circumstance and people and compares to Acts 5:15; so be very careful to follow blindly a dogma preached in ignorance by certain flamboyant men…
Note 2 at Mt 8:15: Many people today have the mistaken idea that to minister, we have to preach or teach. However, it is evident that Peter’s mother-in-law didn’t preach to Jesus and His disciples. This shows that ministry is to supply the needs of others, whether it is physical or spiritual. Peter’s mother-in-law’s ministry to Jesus was probably fixing Him food, washing His feet, [tending to His physical].
Note at Mk 6:5: This verse says that Jesus could do (not would do) no mighty work, showing that He was hindered in doing what He willed to do by “their unbelief” (Mt 13:58) – offense. Some degree of faith must be present in the person receiving the miracle in order for God to do the work unforcefully. Remember that God = Love [does not manipulate].
Note at Lk 7:13: This example of the widow’s son being raised from the dead is often used to demonstrate that Jesus produced many miracles without any faith from those receiving the miracle but by His faith alone. However, Mark 6:5-6 shows that Jesus could not (not would not) do many mighty works in His hometown because of the people’s unbelief [offense disapproves Him and His authority]. Scriptures reveal that faith must be present to receive from God [un-manipulative Love] – Mk 11:23-24: Js 1:5-7. So what faith was present in this instance? First, the mother of the boy responded to Jesus in faith. For this woman to allow Jesus to interrupt the funeral procession and tell her to stop weeping has to be viewed as a positive response. These people were no different from mourners at funerals today. If this woman had rebelled at Jesus’ intrusion, the crowd would have sided with her because of pity, but none of these reactions are recorded. Jesus was in command with His authority as anointed Creator-Son, Giver of Life. Second, it cannot be proven that a dead person has no choice in what happens. From our viewpoint, that may be taken for granted but the scriptures don’t state that. A person doesn’t cease to exist at death; he simply leaves his body. The person is still very much alive. Many people who have been raised from the dead have mentioned that they believed they had a choice in whether to enter their bodies again or not. Although that principle cannot be verified by scripture, it cannot be ruled out by scripture either. In any case, to be consistent with the rest of scripture, some degree of faith had to be present in either the person receiving the miracle or an intercessor (in this case, the mother). Many people have missed their miracles because they had no power working in them. (Eph 3:20).
Note at Lk 8:45: The multitudes were thronging Jesus (i.e. to compress; crowd on all sides; Mk 5:31), so it seems strange that He would ask, “Who touched me?” Many people were physically touching Jesus but this woman touched His power by faith. Many people in the crowd probably needed healing, but this person is the only person mentioned who received exactly then. The difference was the touch of faith [trust in Him, not her reasoning or that of other man]. If it was simply Jesus’ willingness to heal that determined whether or not the healing took place, then all of the sick in this multitude would have been healed. This instance illustrates that it’s not prayer that saves the sick but rather the prayer [prophecy, speaking] of faith that saves the sick (Js 5:15).
Note at Lk 8:50: Fear and faith are opposing forces. Fear is actually faith in reverse. Fear is believing something or someone other than God. Therefore, fear makes us subject to Satan and his death (2 Tim 1:7; Heb 2:15) just as faith makes us recipients of all that God has to offer (Jn 3:16). This is the reason Jesus told Jairus, “Fear not.” Jairus’ fear would have sealed his daughter’s death (Heb 2:15; Job 3:25). We can also see that Jairus had a part to play in this miracle. God does “exceeding abundantly above all that we ask or think, according to the power that works in us” (Eph 3:20). Jesus needed the positive power of faith working in Jairus and not the negative force of fear.
Note at Jn 5:8: Jesus commanded this man to do something that was totally impossible for him to do in the natural. Even if he felt something emotionally or physically, there still was no rational reason why he would be able to take up his bed and walk. To this man, getting up and walking was totally an act of faith (Js 2:17), and that is precisely why Jesus told this man to do it. Most of the time, people had already taken a step of faith in coming to Jesus for healing. But in this instance, this man was approached by Jesus, and there had been no act of faith on his part. Therefore, it was imperative that Jesus stir up some degree of response in the man’s faith. Healing does not come without some manifestation of faith on the part of the person who is receiving it (Mk 6:5-6). For this reason, Jesus often told people to whom He was ministering healing to do something to test themselves so that they could observe [realize] their actual healing (Mt 12:9-14; Lk 7:11-17; 17:12-19; Jn 9; 11:39-41). It is possible to have both faith and fear working in our hearts at the same time (Js 1:6-8). This is the reason Jesus said “believe only” (Jn 5:37-47; 1:17), and the scripture admonishes us not to be double-minded or to waiver (Js 1:5-7). Fear will negate faith. Consider again the introduction to this writing. Going to Jesus for healing, could sometimes be seen as not faith [absolute convinced trust, full and ultimate acceptance, total persuasion of the fact of God’s absolute supremacy] as much as desperation. But, desperation is only dismal despair [a miserable hopelessness as ‘a last resort, merely ‘giving it a last shot because there’s nothing else left to try’ as a meagre chance, a feeble effort by an ignorant loser]. No, show determination that isbased on being fed-up with a lack of authority that Jesus Christ – God Almighty Himself – already provided. This lack of authority is none less than a wavering unbelief and being uninformed [unconvinced, sceptical, uncertain, unimpressed (1 Pet 2:24!), not persuaded and being incredulous]. A true Christian [trust means we’ll follow Christ] will demonstrate God’s authority [in us] (Rev 5:9-10; Rom 8:14-17, 29-39; Lk 1:37; Col 2:15).
Note 1 at Mt 17:20: The disciples’ unbelief in this instance was not a disbelief that God’s power could produce deliverance, but rather a “natural” kind of unbelief that came from a hardened heart that was more sensitive to what it saw (Mk 9:20) than to what it believed. Who do you believe (Mt 16:13-17)? Consider also Heb 5:7; 10:38; 11:1; 2 Cor 4:18; Is 40:29… with 1 Thess 5:23 ( Jn 11:25-26; 1 Cor 15:26)… Read more about this sobering thought in the meditation “The Testimony” on www.gospel-truth.co.za.
Note 2 at Mt 17:20: Jesus did not say that the reason these disciples could not cast this demon out was because they didn’t have faith but because they had unbelief. On the contrary, Jesus states that a very small amount of faith (a “mustard seed”) is sufficient to remove a mountain [Sinai, attempts at self-righteousness in trying to follow Law] if no unbelief [offense] is present to hinder it (Js 1:5-8). Most people have the concept that we either have faith or unbelief but that we can’t have both at the same time. However, Jesus told Jairus to “believe only” (Lk 8:50) implying that faith and fear can operate in us at the same time. This is also the reason James tells us not to be double-minded (Js 1:5-8). We can be thinking faith and yet have thoughts of unbelief at the same time. These disciples did have faith to cast this demon out, and they exercised that faith, but didn’t see the same results that they had seen before. This is why they were concerned and asked Jesus what the problem was. They wouldn’t have asked if they had not believed. They did have faith–the same faith that had effected many other deliverances. The problem wasn’t their faith but rather their unbelief. Every believer has been given “the measure of faith” but our unbelief negates it. It’s like hooking a team of horses up to a heavy weight and having them pull it. The weight will move. But if you hook an equal team of horses up to the same weight and have them pull in the opposite direction at the same time, although great force may be exerted, the weight won’t move. Likewise, unbelief counterbalances our faith. If we will just remove the unbelief, a mustard seed amount of faith will be sufficient to move our problems. Instead of trying to build huge amounts of faith to overcome our fears and unbelief, a simpler method is to remove our fears by cutting off [denying] their source; then our simple “child-like” faith that remains will do the job [show God doing it for us]. It doesn’t take “big” faith – just pure faith. Those who tolerate high levels of unbelief [excessive trust in the world’s ways] in their lives will never be able to build their faith [in God] big enough to overcome unbelief’s negative force. The only way they can receive is to get others to mix their faith with them or draw on one of the supernatural ministry gifts in someone else, such as the gift of faith (1 Cor 12:9). God’s best is for us to receive directly from Him. We will only be successful at that when we not only build our faith but also destroy our doubts. It is God’s will that no one should perish (Jn 3:16 with 2 Pet 3:9), but many do because of their unbelief. Likewise, it is God’s will that we all be healed (3 Jn 2), but not all are healed because we fail to believe (Heb 4:2). It is a mistake to assume that whatever God wills will automatically come to pass. We play a part in receiving from God. If Jesus, who had no limitations, couldn’t do all the mighty works He desired to do because of other people’s unbelief, then most certainly, we have to take into account the level of the peoples’ faith whom we minister to. This is the reason Jesus sought seclusion when performing certain miracles. Compare with Dt 7:17 where the Lord told the children of Israel that if they doubted in their heart, He could not perform His promises to them (Num 33:53) of dispossessing the nations in the promised land. See Heb 8:10-13. Are you there [the promised land]? Think about 1 Pet 2:1-10; Eph 1:18-23; 2:4-22; and so on… Beware of waiting on God, perhaps He [all creation] is waiting on us (Rom 8:19). Some fowl spirits are just not leaving when they see doubt, they will call your bluff – curse them!
Note at Mt 8:5-13; Lk 7:1-10. According to Jesus’ demonstration here, no direct physical contact with the person requiring the healing is even necessary. And, according to Acts 5:15 (note v 16), no dramatic show was put up. We also note that The Bible twice mentioned where God [Jesus of Jn 1:1-5; Col 1;16-17], marveled. We must try to grasp how astonishing noteworthy something must be for Jesus to marvel about it! Once was in Mk 6:6 about the unbelief in Him (Jn 16:9) among the people in His hometown Nazareth, who resisted Him healing them. The other time we read of where Jesus marveled, was at the faith of the centurion that placed total trust in Jesus and apparently understood more of Jesus and authority in Him, than any other that Jesus had seen! (Mt 8:5-13; Lk 7:1-10). Imagine a faith more than that of Adam, Seth, Abraham, David… even Enoch!! It is obvious that we yet seem to fail to grasp the full and accurate knowledge of Jesus Christ and His Gospel and what Jn 8:32, 36 in fact implies. We fall short of the mark (Jn 3:16; 11:26; 1 Thess 5:23)!!! This is expanded on in the meditation “The Testimony”.
Note at Mk 6:52: Most of the time, we think of a person with a hard heart as being someone who is in terrible rebellion to God. While it is true that a person like that does have a hardened heart, in this instance, the word is referring to the disciples’ hearts being hardened because they were, “sore amazed in themselves beyond measure, and wondered” at Jesus walking on the water. The word “hardened” as used here, means “to make calloused, unyielding or cold in spirit, or insensitive to, even luke-warm.” The disciples were not God haters, but rather they had become so sensitive to the natural world and its limitations that they were overwhelmed to see Jesus supersede these laws. Therefore, they had a hardened heart.
Note at Mk 8:17: Just a few days before this instance, a hardened heart had made Jesus’ disciples amazed when they saw Jesus walk on the water to them. Here, Jesus’ statements reveal some of the characteristics of someone with a hardened heart. First, a hard heart keeps us from perceiving spiritual truths. This is why everyone in a proper [true] church service will hear exactly the same message and some will receive while others won’t. It’s not the Word that’s the variable but rather the condition of the hearts. A hard heart stops spiritual perception (Examples: Ex 7:10- 13,19-23; 8:8-15,16-19,31-32; 9:5-7,10-12,22-35; 10:13-20,21- 27; 11:10; 14:3-4). Second, a hard heart stops us from understanding spiritual truths (1 Cor 2:14). When a person doesn’t understand God’s Word, Satan finds no resistance when he comes to steal it away (Mt 13:19). Third, a hard heart keeps us from remembering. This isn’t to say that we can’t recall facts or scriptures because, as related in Mark 8:19-20, these disciples remembered the facts of the two miraculous feedings, but they had forgotten any spiritual lessons they may have learned. Likewise, some people can quote scripture or remember what the sermon was about, but they can’t perceive the spiritual life in them or retain what they did perceive because of a hardened heart. Also, in Job 39:13-17, God speaks of the ostrich as being hardened toward her young and equates that with being deprived of wisdom. A hardened heart towards God produces spiritual retardation. So we see that in this case, a hardened heart was simply being more sensitive to or dominated by natural thinking than by supernatural thinking. If we use this Bible definition of what a hardened heart is, then all of us have areas where we are hardened [insensitive] to God. Our hearts become hardened (insensitive) when we consider (think upon, study, ponder, deliberate, or meditate on) anything other than God and His ways. In this case, the disciples weren’t thinking on things that were sin such as murder, adultery, or theft, etc. Their thinking was totally occupied with the storm and how they could save their lives. However, they were considering only the natural ways of deliverance. They should have been considering a miraculous deliverance since they were out on the sea in obedience to Jesus’ command. They then – and we – are spiritually retarded to 2 Cor 4:6-7! If they had kept their thinking stayed on the miracle they had just seen Jesus perform (the feeding of the five thousand plus), then they wouldn’t have been amazed to see Jesus walking on the water toward them. After all, He had constrained them to get into the ship and was therefore responsible for them. He also was just a short distance away from them and was in the same storm they were so they knew He was aware of their situation. They should have been expecting Jesus to come and save them, even if He had to walk on the water to do it. Certainly anyone who could feed five thousand men (not including women and children) with five loaves and two fish and have more left over when He finished than when He started could walk on water, too. But their hardened hearts kept them from perceiving spiritual truths and kept them dominated by only natural thinking which was completely inadequate to solve their problem. This is the reason that people today, who know what the Word says, still don’t see it work for them. They are more sensitive to fear and doubt than they are to the truths of God’s Word, simply because they have thought more on things that minister fear and doubt. We can take these laws that harden our hearts and use them in a positive way. We can actually harden our hearts to doubt by considering only God’s Word. It is a possible and obtainable goal to become just as sensitive to God and faith as we have been to Satan and doubt, Moses and the law, and the self.
Note at Lk 9:41: Jesus was disappointed that His disciples had not been able to cast this devil out. Most people would have had no criticism of these disciples. After all, it wasn’t normal to have power over evil spirits. Remember that for us on this side of Jesus’ cross, in a NT (Heb 9:16-18), we should know Js 4:7 and Jn 16:11. Jesus did not give a commission without power (Mt 10:8; Lk 10:19; Jn 17:15-26; 11:42). However, Jesus had already given these disciples power and authority over all devils (Lk 9:1). These disciples had also already used this power and authority successfully, making them more accountable than others (Lk 12:48). They weren’t just normal men any longer. They had a supernatural ability and calling. Take very careful note, at this point, at 2 Cor 5:15-21; Gal 2:18-21! We also receive power from on high when the Holy Ghost comes upon us (Acts 1:8), and it becomes our normal Christian service to use this power to witness to others. We can always look around and find plenty of Christians who are not using this power, but 2 Corinthians 10:12 says that comparing ourselves among ourselves is not wise. Most Christians are living so far below what God intended for them that when someone begins to live a normal Christian life (according to God’s standard), then everyone thinks he’s abnormal, meanwhile they are just plain sub-normal, thinking they are normal. Again, any “Christian’s” lack of authority on earth is none less than a wavering unbelief and being uninformed [unconvinced, sceptical, uncertain, unimpressed (1 Pet 2:24!), not persuaded and being incredulous]. A true Christian [trust means we’ll follow Christ] will demonstrate God’s authority [in us] (Rev 5:9-10; Rom 8:14-17, 29-39; Lk 1:37; Col 2:15).
Note at 1 Pet 2:19. “… as in the sight of God… endures the pain of unjust suffering…”. If you think this is implying God can [will] cause suffering [even if you do not deserve it], you must admit that you are saying God is letting you suffer unjustly (see vs. 20-25)!! Think about it and recall Is 5:18-21.
Note at Jn 5:28. Jesus had just spoken of the miracle of someone being resurrected from spiritual death to new life in Jesus (v. 24-25). He is now saying if we’re amazed at that, we will certainly be amazed when we see all the physically dead bodies resurrected at the end of the world.
Note 2 at Jn 5:28. No one is actually in the grave. The Bible does not teach a “soul sleeps” as some people try to make it say. At physical death, the soul and the spirit separate from the body (Js 2:26) and either go immediately to be with the Lord (Lk 23:43; 2 Cor 4:6-8; 5:1-10; Phil 1:23) or to hell (also Hades or Gehenna, Lk 16:22-23, since Jesus’ resurrection – Mt 27:51-54 followed Lk 16:19-26). Our physical bodies remain in the graves and return to dust (Gen 3:19; but also Gen 3:14 with Job 4:19; Lk 10:8-16; Acts 13:51,52; Gal 4:21-31; Rev 13:1!…) until Jesus returns – 1 Thess 4:13-17. The word “grave” distinguishes that Jesus is speaking about our physical bodies. Our physical bodies will be resurrected and reunited with our spirit and soul to spend eternity in either the New Jerusalem with Christ on earth or be destroyed with the devil and his angels (2 Pet 3:7; Rev 20:14-15; 21:8).
Note at Acts 28:8-9. The Book Acts (the first 30 years history of church) was written by Paul’s “beloved friend” (Col 4:14), the doctor Luke, the only non-Jew author of the NT. This was done by Luke to give an accurate report on true Christianity to the Roman Theophilus in order to counter the numerous twisted rumours (Lk 1:1-4; Acts 1:1). Luke was with Paul in Philippi and accompanied him on the important visit to Jerusalem; also stayed with Paul for two years in Caesarea. Luke was with Paul on the boat to Rome (indicated by “we” in Acts 27:1) and gives a rather captivating – pardon the pun (Acts 21:33; 24:23) – account of this trip that ended in shipwreck and landed them on the island Malta for three months (Acts 26:29 – 28:11). He records Paul’s leadership and exceptional resolve. Observe however, that when the beloved medical doctor Luke was present with Paul it could have been very likely that Luke still treated people medically but it seems that for actual healing the people went instead to the apostle Paul [actually, Christ in Paul, as with Peter in Acts 5:15-16) – Acts 28:8-9 (Note 28:2-6).
Note at Heb 11:6. First, it is illogical to think you can impress [an] omniscient God. The analogy would be to attempt punching your initials into a metal [impress the metal] using a punch softer than the metal on the receiving end. None of our goodness can take God by surprise, i.e. impress Him. Because God is Love though, may we please Him [be satisfactory to Him], but never as anything else than what He provided. Heb 11:6 says without faith it is impossible to please God. It is due to a more accurate knowledge of Him (Rom 10:1-4) that leads to absolute trust and a continuous and habitual following of God Triune. Also, that whoever would come near God must necessarily believe God exists and that He is the rewarder of those who diligently seek Him out. This then, second, would rather offer us the ultimate reward as in Mt 10:8; Mk 11:22-24; 16:17-20; Jn 14:10-14,15; Rom 8:2-4,11,17 (Hence Paul’s statement in 1 Cor 1:18-2:2; 4;20; also Heb 2:8-18). Also, reading Mk 11:24, seriously consider Mt 6:12,14,15; 1 Cor 2:5-16; 2 Cor 5:17-21. The meditation “The Testimony” expands on this. Then, crucially, take note of Eph 5:5-7 to see God’s standard, measurement or application [of spirit, gifts, rewards] is in the soul [thought-life] – Mt 5:27-28; 6:33. To seek God out diligently requires consistent and habitual pure thought and this genuine right relationship with Him in Christ then manifest awards [gifts of the spirit] as a result, even peace (Phil 4:6-9,19).
Religion vs. a relationship
Religion with its external traditions (Mk 7:13; 12:24; Heb 4:2), ceremonies and liturgical rituals need no god; for it – even in its shallow prayers (refer to the meditation “Prayer”) – are in essence merely a set of monotonous monologues, rimes and croons. Jesus said hypocrites love to pray (Mt 6:5)! Children of God (Rom 8:14) will show powerful results, hence scriptures such as Mk 11:24 (note the next verse); 16:16-20; Jn 14:9-17; 15:5; 1 Cor 4:20; 2 Cor 12:2. Read these scriptures and ponder them (Heb 2:1-3; 6:1-3)! A real and true relationship with the One living Triune God, our Creator-Father, Son and holy Spirit will show powerful results; at the very least just like His initial followers did (2 Cor 12:2; Jn 17:15-20). This God is a Spirit and communicated with via Jesus (Jn 1:14,17; 3:16-21; 14:6; Heb 1:1-3) and today, His Spirit – Jn 4:24; 14:6,23-26; Rev 21:3,22-27. Take special note of verse 27 with Heb 11:6 and Eph 5:5-17 (Lk 17:20-21); Eph 3:16-21; but also Mt 5:27-28; Rom 8:14; 12:1-2; Eph 5:7; 1 Cor 5:10-11; 6:15-20; 10:31-32; 2 Cor 6:14-18; 10:3-5 and Rev 3:12-13. Clearly a dialogue with God manifests from a pure thought-life that is God’s standard (refer to the scriptures in the previous sentence I said we could take special note of)…
Further notes on healing
- The full gospel was understood by Paul (for one) to be accompanied by signs, miracles, healings, and wonders to testify of God’s grace, mercy, compassion and reality and Life (trustworthiness – if Christ can heal, He can save). Rom 15:19; 10:17; Mk 16:17-20; Ps 107:20… Ex 15:26 calls God JHVH Rapha (the God that healeth thee).
- Other Scriptures: Acts 10:38 with Heb 13:8; Acts 11:26; 2 Cor 5:20; Col 3:17; Is 53:4-5; Prov 4:20-22; Mt 8:17; Lk 10:19; 1 Cor 4:20; Jn 14:12; Josh 1:8
- Remember 1 Jn 3:8 (Js 4:6); Ps 103:3; Mt 11:27-29; Jn 10:10b; 16:33; and so on.
- Read “The Testimony” on www.gospel-truth.co.za.
Practical things to watch for
- Tactfully remove spectators lacking faith in healing (two or more in agreement of unbelief and offense, can be opposing faith, influencing the weak). See Mk 5:37-42; Mt 13:58; Acts 9:37-41.
- For the not re-born (2 Cor 5:17; Col 1:13-22), there might be occasion to break [generational] curses, and demonic depression (2 Cor 10:5) – remember 1 Pet 1:18-19; Jn 8:32,36!!!
- Wrong attitude (fear, doubt, stress, anxiety [distrust] brings sickness to body, Job 3:25,26)
- Unforgiving attitudes, anger, bitterness, resentment, offense, are common roots for sickness (Mt 6:15). Check for a spirit of anger, offense, wrong doctrine opposing Jesus’ gospel…
- False perceptions, such as believing sickness is caused by God “to teach someone a lesson”, “suffer for Jesus” or even taking pride in being sick (3 Jn 2; Prov 4:20-22; Ps 107:20; 103;3; et cetera). This corrupt mindset [first] needs change! God is only a good and perfect Father!
- Obvious and simple practical results such as bodily neglect, unhealthy eating, insufficient rest, lack of exercise, hands full of pills, etc. The cause will probably be psychological, somewhere sprouted from a problem with/in the self… (Jn 8:32,36; 1 Jn 3:8!…)
- Sin. Gossip, murmuring, speaking death, rebelling, arguing – all actually calling God a liar!
Plausible reasons why not all are [visibly] healed
- Lack of faith of the one ministering! Note that Jesus did not blame the receiver, but the disciples in Mt 17:16-20. Eph 5:18b reveals we’ve not moved into lasting glory yet (2 Cor 3:18)!
- Lack of purity in/of the one ministering! Seriously ponder the following Scriptures, and carefully note the strong admonishing against impurity of thought, and of purpose and of life of the [still] hypocrite (Mt 7:15-23; 15:8-9; Js 1:6-8); sexual vice and sensual appetites will not be entertained and thus allowed to pollute [dilute] the true sons of God! Now, contemplate with caution all the following: Acts 15:20; 21:24-25; Rom 6:19-23; 1 Cor 5:1-8; 6:14-20; 7:2-4 (Mt 5:27-28!!); 2 Cor 12:20-21; Gal 5:16-21; Eph 4:17-30; 5:1-17 (observe the stern warning repeated of trueness and uprightness of the inner thoughts [heart] and to understand what the will of God is!!); Col 3:1-12; 1 Thess 4:1-8; Heb 10:26-31; Js 1:6-8; 1 Jn 3:6-10; Jude 1:7; Rev 22:15!!!
- Offense (Jn 5:44-47; Js 4:6; 1 Jn 3:20-22 with 1 Jn 5:9-15; 1 Jn 2:4; Mt 13:57,58 ; Acts 13:58; but certainly Mk 6:1-6; Lk 7:1-10).
- The receiver being weighed down by worldly cares and sin (offense/scoffing at/distrust in God). This is why Jesus didn’t – couldn’t (because He’s not a manipulator in the human sense) – heal all in Mt 13:58. It is a good idea therefore, to first ask your potential receiver, “Do you believe Jesus can heal you through me?” (Mt 9:28-29). If this person says yes, go ahead. Then still that sickness [devil?] can return because some people might invite [even unwittingly allow] the devil or unbelief right back in (as they allowed it in at first) after you had cast it out! Consider Mt 12:43-45. Yet, it is probably not about a person, but it’s between you – in Christ – and the devil (operating in that person). It is warfare – heed Jesus in Mt 10:8 and Lk 6:46!
- Lack of discernment. Holy Spirit will reveal the cause, not the symptoms (see “watch out for” list above). Acts 5:32; Rom 8:14; Lk 11:13; Mk 11:23-24 [law/self-righteousness there?]… Careful, therefore, with trying to be too specific with casting out a defect, infirmity or a devil. “Be healed” or “Live and be free” sounds more general while in fact it is probably more complete (we don’t know all to name all).
- It could be God’s timing [Kairos is not chronos]. “Heal” sometimes might mean gradual (Mk 8:23-25), sometimes at a considerable time later subjects open up and receive [see] what was there all along. Sometimes it could be a matter of plain physics or a [renewed] natural process. However, one thing is for sure, any absolute failure is due to our un-/disbelief rather than any lack on God’s side!
- In line with the overwhelming evidence that God is Love and not a manipulator, has He made us free moral agents (the meditation “The will of man, the will of God” expand on this). It is then possible that the critically ill, sick or injured sufferer might approach the spiritual realm where the soul and spirit acutely becomes aware of the reality of eternal life and that this new state is so overwhelmingly attractive in an exciting euphoria of blissful peace and tranquillity that it would be an easy choice to just continue on and not return to a challenging and troubled physical world.
- God’s sovereignty – we know too little, but should just believe His promises and His teachings because we can always unfailingly trust His Person, His Spirit Word. He does not do or cause everything; but He is in upper command [maximum authority] of everything. Please consider the meditation “The will of man, the will of God”.
Note at Mk 16:17-18. It says that one of the attesting signs that will follow those who believe, is that they will lay their hands on the sick and the sick will get well. Why then, may we ask, does it sometimes seem to fail? Well, there are actually many indications in The Bible [God’s Word]. We can start with any one of many Scriptures (as referred to in the second plausible reason above) and always end up with the same conclusion around the lines of Jn 15:1-5 (Jn 14:6-14; Phil 3:9-10). Observe that Jesus gave an apparent provision for the sick to be healed by us in Mk 16:16, namely for us to (i) believe His Gospel and (ii) be baptized. (Refer to the meditations “The Gospel” and “Baptism”). Before rushing over this apparent mild requirement of Jesus Christ, consider Mt 3:6-12 with the reply Jesus gave in Mt 27:35-38 (Dt 6:5); as well as Phil 3:3 and Col 2:9-23! The only protection against a “re-invasion” as in Mt 12:43-45, is to be able to demonstrate Js 4:7 and 1 Jn 4:4, and this will only happen if we truly love [follow, cling to] God!!! Now, carefully, contemplate Rom 12:9 again (See how God regards truthfulness in Jer 10:14-15; 17:7-10; 23:10-14-23 with Jn 14:6,23-26; 1 Jn 2:4; even Prov 8:13; 11:20-21; 12:17-18,28; 21:3-8). Observe how practical Phil 4:6-9 is! The baptism of John the Baptist, was one of repentance (Mt 3:6-12; Lk 3:3,8; Acts 13:24; 19:2-6), so we have to consider – and perhaps re-consider – Rom 2:22-29; Phil 3:3; Col 2:8-20. If our thought-life is kept pure, then only can we be genuine followers of Jesus Christ and then only will we see powerful results, such as Mk 16:16-18. We will do well to ponder again all the Scriptures above…
For more on Rom 8:2, 20-24, refer to the meditation “The Testimony”.
Comment on raising the dead
In the Bible we find the following examples mentioned:
• Elijah raised the son of the Shunem woman (2 Ki 4:18-20,28-37). • Jesus raised the daughter of Jairus, one of the synagogue’s rulers (Mt 9:18,19,23-25; Mk 5:22-24,38-42; Lk 8:41’42’49-56). Note how the [Jewish] people sneered at Jesus (Mt 9:24; 13:58; Mk 5:40; Lk 8:53), hence Jn 1:10,11, recorded by John last (See meditation “The four Gospels”). • Jesus raised the widow from Nain’s son (Lk 7:11-15). Probably too old to have another son or re-marry, this woman was typical of people Jesus have deep compassion for (Js 1:27). • Jesus raised Lazarus (Jn 11:1-44) . • Peter raised Tabitha (Dorcas in Greek) – Acts 9:36-42 (note Mk 5:40; Lk 8:51, with Acts 9:40). • Paul raised Eutychus (Acts 20:9-12). Note at Mt 10:8. Jesus’ instruction to raise the dead raise the [valid] question in many minds, “At what point or when is this “raise the dead” beyond what Jesus seem to-/could have meant in Mt 10:8?” For instance, what about all the saints since (say, 65 A.D. to date), or someone cremated? Must we raise them? With scriptures such as 2 Tim 3:15-17; Rev 22:18-19 (22:10); Rom 16:17; Gal 1:6-9; Jn 14:10-15; Mt 17:20; 19:26; in mind, we look at Jesus’ words in Mt 10:7-8. It is recorded as follows: And as ye go, preach, saying, The kingdom of heaven is at hand. Heal the sick, cleanse the lepers, raise the dead, cast out devils; freely ye have received, freely give. (KJV) And as you go, preach, saying, The kingdom of heaven is at hand! Cure the sick, raise the dead, cleanse the lepers, drive out demons. Freely (without pay) you have received, freely (without charge) give. (Ampl)
We can from this perhaps rather safely make the following reasonable deductions: • Lk 17:20-21 applies to this kingdom of heaven [God]. (Discussed in “Mixing Old and New”). • Jn 17:15-21 means Mt 10:8 applies to us today. • Jesus did not stipulate a time constraint. Neither for a calendar, nor an age restriction… • We must preach correctly – Gal 1:6-9; Rom 12:9; Prov 8:13; 11:20-21; 16:5; Js 1:5-8; 5:19-20… • Heal [cure] the sick ties in with Jn 1:1-4; 10:10; 1 Pet 2:24 plus our authority as sons of God (Jn 1:12-13; 14:12-15; Rom 8:14) that should manifest on earth – Heb 2:8-17 (Ampl); Eph 1:3; 2 Pet 1:3-4… • It is wicked to make money from doing anything that God instructed us to do freely (extort). • The fact that God have provided all in the spiritual realm (Eph 1:3) in Jesus Christ, means we should not fret over saints (Rom 8:29-39) having lost their bodies long ago or in a catastrophic manner. This is why we have what the apostle Paul gave us in 1 Cor 15:49-55 (verses 56-58 is expanded on elsewhere in this meditation in Rom 5:12; 8:2; and (a) through (h)); and 1 Thess 4:13-18. We can, however – in Christ – save anyone from immediate or resent death and let them live [not lose them due to sickness]. We can summarize by saying that it is not a ‘cop-out’ [evasion] when having to determine where the line is between raising the dead and letting them be, by referring to Jn 4:24; Rom 8:14; Gal 5:18; and 1 Jn 2:20 [because of Jn 8:32,36]! This Paul indicated in 2 Cor 4:11-12 because he knew that although he survived many attempts at killing him – actually having left him for dead at least five times and having survived miraculously – they would this time around sever his head from his body and his body would hence be dead until Jesus resurrects it with His second advent. Observe here Paul’s use of the word “may”, expressing his [in fact God’s – Jer 29:11; Jn 1:4,17; 3:16] wish in 1 Thess 5:23, “… and may your spirit and soul and body be preserved sound and complete [and found] blameless at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ (the Messiah)…” It therefore seems that the command and precepts in this regard Jesus gave us was simply the following: • To fully believe [trust, follow, cling to] Him – Mk 11:24; Mt 19:26… • To be victorious. • God is Life, Love, mercy, grace… • Death, sickness, infirmity is not of God and should not be embraced by saints as “God’s will” (refer to the meditation “The will”).
If someone dies in a catastrophic manner, and was saved (Rom 10:9-10), have the hope [peace, consolation] that they will be resurrected with a glorified body and immortality with the returning of Jesus Christ and his saints. • If somebody is about to die – especially due to sickness – and can respond meaningfully with comprehension, ask if they (i) believe you can heal them in Christ (Mt 9:228,29) and (ii) if they want this healing [whether they want to live, remain until Jesus’ return]. If they agree, speak Life!!! • If they cannot speak, or had very recently died, let Holy Spirit guide you and speak Life in Jesus’ name [authority]! • If they don’t agree and reject being saved/healed, so be it. • If someone has been dead for long (is buried or cremated), or died in a catastrophic manner, have the hope in Jesus Christ that their soul and spirit are saved and let it be… Remember Who your Comforter, Counselor, Teacher and Guide, is (Jn 14:26) • Age has nothing to do with this [is nowhere in Scripture mentioned a prohibiting factor].
Worldly legal aspects
Remember that, unless you are a practicing [medical] professional, that it is inappropriate to give advice or recommendations on whether someone should continue/alter/discontinue any medication or treatment.
It is important to realize that God cannot be prescribed to or instructed how to fix someone if you pray (as explained in the two paragraphs below – God is the Creator and designed us!) We are talking to the defect(s) in a body – not God – and commanding it to be healed with the authority Jesus paid for, we are not talking (worst of all, begging) God to do something [He already provided and made available to us long ago]! Another vital understanding is that it is unnecessary to call a group together as if you need help. This just shows a frail faith and uncertainty [lack of authority and understanding]. As mentioned before, before calling a group together, carefully and prayerfully combine Js 5:16c, that says that tremendous power is released by the prayer of a [singular] righteous man, with 1 Jn 4:4 (Jn 14:23,26; Rev 21:3) + Phil 3:9!!! If Jesus Christ is your righteousness, it is His prayer in agreement with you (Rom 8:26-39; 1 Jn 2:1-3); hence 1 Pet 2:24 (Jn 19:30)!!!
How to pray
- Be genuine. There can be no recipes, formulae or “techniques”. These are guidelines [examples, a general method] only. It is not theatrical, nor for collecting payment (Mt 10:8).
- It is about your authority in Christ (Jn 1:12-13,17; 14:10-15; Mk 11:24) – not how you say a rhyme… – It is by God’s grace and mercy. It is a demonstration of God’s Love, sovereignty and compassion. It shows that His Words are trustworthy – He [Jesus Christ] alone heals and saves (Ps 118:8)
- Don’t [religiously] “pray” for the person – command the sickness to leave! (Mt 10:8).
- Bring them God’s Life (Jn 14:6). Let God’s power flow to them. – Assure sick and afflicted God is able, willing, and active to give Life (Lk 12:32) and maintain it (Rom 8:11). Demonstrate 1 Cor 4:20!!!
- Mt 10:8 – command sickness and affliction to go in Jesus’ name (Jn 14:14; 16:24). This kingdom needs rulers with [His] authority – exercise your dominion like a warrior (Gen 1:26-28; Ex 15:3; Eph 2:6; Rom 8:19). Don’t ask what God has already provided (1 Pet 2:24)!
- Agreement of a believer, remember God’s anointing on you (Mt 18:19-20; remember Eph 1:3). – Faith must be in God as the Healer, not the person praying (Mk 11:22-24; Jn 15:5).
- Be sensitive to Holy Spirit’s unctions, prompts, images, visions…
- Be yourself. Embarrassment, fear, doubt shows you are trying to do it, not God!…
- Lay on hands (Mk 16:18; Lk 8:46), but not necessarily (Mt 8:6,13)! i.e. Don’t be religious…
- Be specific in addressing the sickness, affliction; tell it to never return (2 Cor 6:16)!
- Always praise and acknowledge Father – to God all the glory! Thank Him for Life everlasting
- Thank God for the healing and praise Him [for His goodness, ability, willingness]!
– If you “desire to have this gift of healing”, or wander what you did wrong to not see results, you have stated your problem! It is not an “office” that is “deserved”, but what God does when you believe [follows and cling to] Jesus Christ. Jesus demonstrated it and commanded it, and proved it with His followers then, so you say it and it will become clear that His Word cannot return without results. There is proof that all can/should believe Him. He is God! Remember…
- God is Love, not a curser or black-mailer, and wants you to have abundant, lasting Life
- Healing is ours that belong to Him (understand and accept His promise of everlasting Life)
- Don’t limit God with our reasoning or offense or believing false messages of thieves
- There are no rules/steps/limits – just trust [faith] in the “package-deal” of Jesus Christ
Note. There is no a recipe from Jesus. What He gave was His Word [promise] and authority in His Word. Jesus already healed all at His cross – 1 Pet 2:24. This author can witness of people being healed after a short prayer over a telephone, and also after just touching someone in silent prayer. There is no “only [one, repetitive] way”; but there certainly is a more accurate way to pray (Eph 4:12-15). Then, also, remember Rom 8:26 (Jn 4:24; Heb 11:6)…
You may lay (put) your hand(s) on the spot (in the case of the opposite gender, you can lay your hand on top of their hand that touches the problem area). Let the person look at you [make eye contact]. Look into his/her eyes with the authority and faith of God. Contact the spirit. You can say, “I forgive you your sin(s)” (Jn 20:22-23; Jn 16:9) or say, “[I declare] your sins are forgiven” (1 Jn 3:8b; Lk 23:34; Jn 19:30), or “I set you free” (Jn 8:31-32), or “I bring you Life” (Jn 10:10b). Let Holy Spirit guides you. Then, you might say (while looking into the person’s eyes, or where ever you want!), for a person with a specific problem, for instance, “I command muscles, tendons and ligaments to relax. I command bones to move into their correct place. Be perfectly healed… in Jesus’ name. I thank You my Father. Thank You Jesus”. (You can say “Jesus of Nazareth”, “the Christ of God”, whatever, as long as you know “in His name” means with His teaching and His character and His power, free from all self-righteousness, knowing Jesus Christ alone is all your righteousness, once for all; and not as an “abracadabra” as in witchcraft). God performs miracles [signs, proof of promises fulfilled], not magic, hypnotism, or trickery. Be genuine, be open. Or, you may just simply say “Be perfectly healed right now”… or “I bring you life in Jesus’ Name”. Remember God is the Healer, He needs no instructions from us on the “how to”! The person you are speaking to has been created by this very God with a mysterious mind (soul), spirit and body with a God-given ability to heal [itself, if allowed]… we merely have to obey God’s instruction and guidelines to allow Him to let His Spiritual realm be effective on this earth in the authority He has provided us!… This same person has also already been healed (1 Pet 2:24) and just requires to be delivered from ignorance!… Now you ask the person to test his/her movements [body]. Let the person see he/she can now do what was not possible (or painful) just prior to your prayer. If you ask them how they feel, it is good to point out that, by “feel” you do not mean self-focused emotion, but instead what they physically experience(d) inside their bodies [as a witness].
Let the testimony reflect the glory of God and thank the Lord openly. Ask that somebody praise the Lord with you. Admit He is wonderful and True! But, please don’t be amazed [surprised] – this only reveals unbelief that God could actually be True! Go, preach the kingdom! Preach the good news of Jesus Christ! Bring them everlasting Life! Cure the sick, drive out demons [ungodly thoughts], raise the dead! Speak His Name! Be blessed in Jesus name! Heed Mt 10:8!
Further reading: If Heb 8:6-13; 11:40 is true; and Ps 103:1-3; 107:20 is true, believe Jn 1:1-4,17. Contemplate Luke 17:5-6. People commissioned to heal the sick: Col 1:19-23; Heb 10:7; Jn 4:34; 5:30; 6:38; 17:18,20 (Acts 10:34; 3:1-12; 20:9-11); Mt 10:1; Lk 10:1-9; 4:17-20; Mk 3:7; 16:16-18; Js 5:14-16; 1 Cor 3:9,16; etc Note at 1 Cor 13:8. Some say that it says here that prophecies and gifts like healing does not exist today. This is not so, this scripture clearly speaks of the time after the 2nd coming of our Lord Jesus when the necessity for prophecies and healings and so forth will no longer be required, but love will always remain. Refer to Num 11:29; Acts 2:4 and the continuation of Paul’s letter in 1 Cor 14:1-4. At any rate, if you still insist to read 1 Cor 13:8 to say prophecies and other gifts do not exist [is not valid, applicable] today, then you must also read the last part of the same sentence (v. 8d) that says knowledge will also pass away! This actually means it will lose its value and be superseded by the Truth (Jn 8:32,36), not that you do not have knowledge now, neither that you will be clueless then. Be logical and be real. His power is inside of us as a re-born believer in Jesus Christ: Eph 1:17-23; (why not read the whole letter of Ephesians, it was written as one letter, you know); likewise Rom 8. Reference a concordance, look up the Scriptures containing “heal”, “save”, “deliver”, and so on. Contemplate them. Then decide if you believe them. If you do, you will accept them without reasoning [against it], and then decide whether you will speak His Word [Life]. Then do. Resist the father of all lies (Jn 8:42-47), not the Spirit of Life (Rom 8:2; Jn 8:32,36).
If you can truly say “Thank You” to God [Godhead] for what He had already provided to/for us, instead of begging (nagging) Him in ignorance, before the world can see results; then you demonstrate belief in His Word [Jesus Christ] and this faith [trust in God’s work] will manifest your victorious results (Jn 14:10-15; Phil 4:13). By truly saying “Thank You”, you realise what you had received by Jesus’ provision from His crucifixion to His ascension. It is done, indeed (Jn 19:30)! Now, again contemplate the meaning of “believe” in Heb 10:38; 11:1. Consider other meditations by the author, such as “The Will”, “Gifts”, etc. on www.gospel-truth.co.za… If you will. Be blessed. Go in joy, health, prosperity and peace.