Health and Healing #7

Installment seven in a series on what the scripture has to say about healing.

I am grateful, Father, that we know exactly who You are by what is revealed in the words and in the person of Jesus!

God, who at sundry times and in divers manners spake in time past unto the fathers by the prophets, Hath in these last days spoken unto us by his Son, whom he hath appointed heir of all things, by whom also he made the worlds; Who being the brightness of his glory, and the express image of his person, and upholding all things by the word of his power, when he had by himself purged our sins, sat down on the right hand of the Majesty on high:

Hebrews 1:1-3

https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/heir

This description of the deity of Jesus, as the express image of the Father, clearly stretches Meriam Webster’s second definition of heir to the n’th degree.

Remember the basic definition of the nucleus of an atom, made up of like charged particles? Do you remember that like charges repel one another? If you keep up with modern science, you may even have read about the so-called strong force that keeps the sub-atomic particles together that make up protons and neutrons, and the residual from this strong force that overcomes the natural repulsion of like-charged particles. (Fortunate for us!) I have not read anyone working in nuclear physics ask why these complicated things should be in the first place. Why should massless gluons act between quarks to make hadrons (protons and neutrons). Why should a residual force of these interactions be balanced to overcome the electrostatic repulsion of protons? Why do not oppositely charged electrons rush headlong into a collision with the nucleus? In Hebrews 1, we learn these things, and all else, are upheld by the word of his power.

Photo by Ingrid North on Pexels.com

One might think Jesus therefore had His hands full with the many subatomic particles in the universe. But, no, He has time and inclination to speak to us. Do we have time to listen?

How God anointed Jesus of Nazareth with the Holy Ghost and with power: who went about doing good and healing all that were oppressed of the devil; for God was with him.

Acts 10:38

Did you get that? Healing all. A-L-L. Did you recognize that what needed healing did not come from above?

He that committeth sin is of the devil; for the devil sinneth from the beginning. For this purpose, the Son of God was manifested, that he might destroy the works of the devil.

1 John 3:8

Jesus came to destroy that oppression (look back at Hebrews 1:3 for Jesus’ dealing with sin). Are we in Him? Are we walking according to His calling? Or are we habitually giving the enemy access to ourselves by going “our” own way?

For there is no respect of persons with God.

Romans 2:11

None of us is an exception in His sight. Salvation from sin and from sickness was purchased for all. The only caveat is God will not override our will. The choice remains with us. Do we continue with the deception proffered to Eve in the garden of Eden – has God really said? (Refer to Genesis 3.)

Surely he hath borne our griefs, and carried our sorrows: yet we did esteem him stricken, smitten of God, and afflicted. But he was wounded for our transgressions, he was bruised for our iniquities: the chastisement of our peace was upon him; and with his stripes we are healed.

Isaiah 53:4-5

P.S. Lest I set off a firestorm of objections that personal sin is not the cause of all sickness, let me say that I recognize that is a true statement. Sickness was released into the “very good” creation by original sin, and some of it now propagates by what some would term “natural” means. Nonetheless, deception is the sole weapon of the enemy. If we listen to him, we cooperate with our own destruction (John 10:10). This is a sad state of affairs for the believer who could be set free by knowing and following the truth (John 8:32). No one besides us has control. Our “decider” is ours alone. It is my prayer that my readers will persist in the revealed word, discover their identity in Christ, and find power to put the enemy and his works to flight.

Submit yourselves therefore to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you.

James 4:7
Night Fire
Advertisement

Health and Healing #6

1 When He was come down from the mountain, great multitudes followed Him.
2 And, behold, there came a leper and worshipped Him, saying, Lord, if thou wilt, Thou canst make me clean.
3 And Jesus put forth His hand, and touched him, saying, I will; be thou clean. And immediately his leprosy was cleansed.

16 When the even was come, they brought unto Him many that were possessed with devils: and He cast out the spirits with His word, and healed all that were sick:
17 That it might be fulfilled which was spoken by Esaias the prophet, saying, Himself took our infirmities, and bare our sicknesses.

Matthew 8:1-3, 16-17

https://biblehub.com/interlinear/isaiah/53-4.htm

The leper did not apparently doubt Jesus’ ability to heal, but was not sure of his willingness. Jesus said, “I will”. The scripture is clear here that Jesus healed all who came seeking.

God is no respecter of persons (Acts 10:34). What He has done for another, He will do for you.

If you pay attention long, you will hear some assert that such miracles have passed away before our current era. They will, no doubt, rationalize their excuses in some way. Do not believe them, their rationalizations are merely the opinions of men being vaunted over the nature and character of the Lord. Instead, have faith in the eternal consistency and love of God (Hebrews 13:8).

https://biblehub.com/interlinear/hebrews/13-8.htm

Photo by Brett Jordan on Pexels.com

Health and Healing #3

This is the third post in a series on things the Bible has to say about the healing nature of Jehovah Rapha, God our Healer. It is my hope as we progress, that you, dear reader, will become awed by the depth of the Scriptural evidence of this part of the redemption purchased for believers by Jesus at the cross as surely as we trust in His deliverance from the penalty of sin.

Let’s start today by considering the authority of the believer and the importance of our words and their backing by belief.

And Jesus answering saith unto them, Have faith in God.
For verily I say unto you, That whosoever shall say unto this mountain, Be thou removed, and be thou cast into the sea; and shall not doubt in his heart, but shall believe that those things which he saith shall come to pass; he shall have whatsoever he saith.
Therefore I say unto you, What things soever ye desire, when ye pray, believe that ye receive them, and ye shall have them.

Mark 11:22-25

What is your mountain? What apparently-immovable hindrance (or attitude) is blocking your way? If your self talk is defeatist, that hill will indeed remain stationary. Instead let your words be filled with faith in Him!

Does it go without saying? Those who practice witchcraft are attempting to conjure according to a perversion of this principle. Namely, that the form of their words will fabricate the outcome they desire (by magic). Notice in Mark 11:22 that the praying believer is first to have faith in God and in verse 25 is to believe he is receiving from God. It is God’s power. We know from the Scripture that God is holy. (If we know Him at all, our experience with Him bears that out, without question.) That He is holy means that He is wholly consistent: His words perfectly match His actions and His acts entirely obey His word. He never violates His nature: loving, just, wise, forbearing, giving, protecting, nurturing, attentive, to name a few characteristics. Do not, therefore, get the wrong idea about this awesome spiritual principle.

Here is another good evidence of our Source and His consistency:

Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, and cometh down from the Father of lights, with whom is no variableness, neither shadow of turning.

James 1:17

Good and perfect gifts are evidence of His consistently loving nature. I love that He is referred to as the “Father of lights” here. Jesus contrasted of the good gifts given by the Father with the best we can muster on our own:

If ye then, being evil, know how to give good gifts unto your children, how much more shall your Father which is in heaven give good things to them that ask him?

Matthew 7:11

A couple of passages in Genesis provide some exhortation to make our voice and our belief consistent, because we were made to be in harmony with Him (in His nature).

So God created man in his own image, in the image of God created he him; male and female created he them.

Genesis 1:27

Backing up to the first part of Genesis 1 we find repeated reference to God speaking all of creation into existence. You know how it goes. He was exercising precisely the consistent expectation that Jesus is telling us to have in Mark 11. Making our words reflect unwavering faith in promises that we expect Him to deliver on is one way we are to walk in His way as image-bearers of our Creator.

Note there was no stubborn resistance to the Word of God in His creation work. No stars failed to begin their nuclear reactions, no galaxies failed to take their appointed shape. No particle of creation refused to exert gravitational attraction of all the other particles. That bears repeating. First He said, “let there be”, then, “and there was”.

Be wary that doubt counters faith. Don’t despair. We usually get opportunity to practice greater stability.

My brethren, count it all joy when ye fall into divers temptations; Knowing this, that the trying of your faith worketh patience. But let patience have her perfect work, that ye may be perfect and entire, wanting nothing. If any of you lack wisdom, let him ask of God, that giveth to all men liberally, and upbraideth not; and it shall be given him. 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 1:2-8

Who is the enemy that contends against you? You do not face your accuser alone.

Fear thou not; for I am with thee: be not dismayed; for I am thy God: I will strengthen thee; yea, I will help thee; yea, I will uphold thee with the right hand of my righteousness.
Behold, all they that were incensed against thee shall be ashamed and confounded: they shall be as nothing; and they that strive with thee shall perish.
Thou shalt seek them, and shalt not find them, even them that contended with thee: they that war against thee shall be as nothing, and as a thing of nought.
For I the Lord thy God will hold thy right hand, saying unto thee, Fear not; I will help thee.

Isaiah 41:10-13

Finally, remember that these words of the Father in Isaiah are looking forward to the deliverance Jesus would attain for us at the Cross. Our perspective is looking back to the finished work of Jesus.

It is finished.

John 19:30

Health and Healing #2

Second in a series of scriptures and meditations on what the Bible has to say about the healing gifts of God through our Savior Jesus.

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

There will be more on this as we go, but for now let me assert that salvation is first a spiritual redemption that has the potential to effect remarkable change in the body and soul as we walk by faith in the truth of His promises. Let me also try to drive home the power of what comes out of our mouths. Here is a powerful promise to walk in:

Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that believeth on me, the works that I do shall he do also; and greater works than these shall he do; because I go unto my Father.

John 14:12

How is this even possible? We live in a world that seems to delight in communicating the powerlessness of the individual against forces that are presented as overwhelming. That is a lie. The believer in Jesus can have the very presence of God in the depths of his being in the Person of the Holy Spirit. No power can stand against Him, save your free will (because He allows it).

Nevertheless I tell you the truth; It is expedient for you that I go away: for if I go not away, the Comforter will not come unto you; but if I depart, I will send him unto you.

John 16:7


Even the Spirit of truth; whom the world cannot receive, because it seeth him not, neither knoweth him: but ye know him; for he dwelleth with you, and shall be in you.

John 14:17

Look at these instructions Jesus gave to the 70 as He sent them out:

Heal the sick, cleanse the lepers, raise the dead, cast out devils: freely ye have received, freely give.

Matthew 10:8

Does that seem like work you would expect out of common folk: fishermen, tax collectors, laborers, craftsmen? I will leave you with a demonstration of a possible, even likely, stumbling block. Unbelief. It stymied even Jesus:

And when he was come into his own country, he taught them in their synagogue, insomuch that they were astonished, and said, Whence hath this man this wisdom, and these mighty works? Is not this the carpenter’s son? is not his mother called Mary? and his brethren, James, and Joses, and Simon, and Judas? And his sisters, are they not all with us? Whence then hath this man all these things? And they were offended in him. But Jesus said unto them, A prophet is not without honour, save in his own country, and in his own house. And he did not many mighty works there because of their unbelief.

Matthew 13:50-58

Sometimes unbelief manifests itself in what we think we know instead of allowing ourselves to be convinced of the truth revealed in Scripture.

Looking west from home.

Health and Healing #1

Did you know that the Bible has a lot to say about health and healing? I thought I might start to share some of these passages, one at a time.

10 He that believeth on the Son of God hath the witness in himself: he that believeth not God hath made him a liar; because he believeth not the record that God gave of his Son.

11 And this is the record, that God hath given to us eternal life, and this life is in his Son.

12 He that hath the Son hath life; and he that hath not the Son of God hath not life.

13 These things have I written unto you that believe on the name of the Son of God; that ye may know that ye have eternal life, and that ye may believe on the name of the Son of God.

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

15 And if we know that he hear us, whatsoever we ask, we know that we have the petitions that we desired of him.

1 John 5:10-15

Well, maybe one more verse in an effort to belabor the point:


The thief cometh not, but for to steal, and to kill, and to destroy: I am come that they might have life, and that they might have it more abundantly.

John 10:10

These passages are speaking to those with a vital relationship with the Lord Jesus. Believers may pray for others and see healing as a witness. This is essentially what Jesus was doing in His earthly ministry with regard to healing. The power of it was mysteriously flowing slightly upstream in time from the work He would finish later at the cross. If you want to see these promises at work in your life on a consistent basis, ask Jesus for that relationship. He longs to have that rapport with you, to welcome you as family.

Notice the life is IN the Son, and it is available to those who are in relationship with Him. Much more to come…

In Him all Things Hold Together

I am grateful for getting some of the barn signs in the county down today. It was below freezing and windy, but I really enjoyed my Wife’s company and help.

15 The Son is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn over all creation. 16 For in him all things were created: things in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or powers or rulers or authorities; all things have been created through him and for him. 17 He is before all things, and in him all things hold together.

Colossians 1

Me: Good evening Jesus!

Jesus: Good evening, Jon!

Me: Thank You Jesus, for holding everything together.

Jesus: My plan requires it to hold together.

11 For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future. 12 Then you will call on me and come and pray to me, and I will listen to you. 13 You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart.

Jeremiah 29

Do you think about the plans that I have for you?

Me: I wonder sometimes, Jesus, if my belief that I am on the path you want me on is fully under the guidance of the Spirit and not merely a product of inertia.

Jesus: It is not merely inertia. I promised the Spirit to guide you into all truth (John 16:13) and you have a heart to listen. I Am faithful to speak to those who have a heart to listen. I am faithful to speak to you.

Me: I cannot overstate what that promise means to me. I honestly don’t know how people who don’t know You get out of bed in the morning.

The opening passage talks about You as creator of thrones and powers, rulers and authorities. You must be disappointed in our current authorities and their dismissal of Your plan. No, more their dismissal of You.

Jesus: Yes, I Am disappointed whenever any chooses not to have a relationship with Me.

Me: Is it more rampant now?

Jesus: Sin is progressive. Small steps at first. Eventually rushing headlong to destruction.

Me: We have elected officials who refuse to fix a broken voting system, the foundation of our republic. They draw back from making changes when cheaters cry foul. I know you see all this. My tendency is to believe that many elections are swayed by antics such as the dead voting. Am I a conspiracy theorist?

Jesus: No, what you sense is the truth. Let me remind you that this too falls under the “all things” coverage of Romans 8:28 –

And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose.

Also, in every age there has been a remnant dedicated wholeheartedly to Me. It is the same now. You meet many of them. Remnants do not win elections. They do tread the path to life eternal.

13 Enter ye in at the strait gate: for wide is the gate, and broad is the way, that leadeth to destruction, and many there be which go in thereat: 14 Because strait is the gate, and narrow is the way, which leadeth unto life, and few there be that find it. 15 Beware of false prophets, which come to you in sheep’s clothing, but inwardly they are ravening wolves. 16 Ye shall know them by their fruits. Do men gather grapes of thorns, or figs of thistles? 17 Even so every good tree bringeth forth good fruit; but a corrupt tree bringeth forth evil fruit. 18 A good tree cannot bring forth evil fruit, neither can a corrupt tree bring forth good fruit. 19 Every tree that bringeth not forth good fruit is hewn down, and cast into the fire. 20 Wherefore by their fruits ye shall know them.

Matthew 7

Me: Thank You Jesus! I love You!

Jesus: You are welcome! I love you!

Photo by Janko Ferlic on Pexels.com

Upheld

I am grateful for the revelation that You love us; that You ARE love. This is direction in Deuteronomy, is only right.

Hear, O Israel: The Lord our God is one Lord: And thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thine heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy might. Deuteronomy 6:4-5

Me: Good evening, Jesus!

Jesus: Good evening, Jon!

Me: Please forgive my frequent inattention and my various distractions from being consciously in Your presence. I am grateful to be in Your presence even if sometimes unconsciously.

Jesus: When I said that I would never leave you nor forsake you, I told you an eternal fact.

Even the Spirit of truth; whom the world cannot receive, because it seeth him not, neither knoweth him: but ye know him; for he dwelleth with you, and shall be in you. I will not leave you comfortless: I will come to you. Yet a little while, and the world seeth me no more; but ye see me: because I live, ye shall live also. John 14:17-19

For the Lord will not forsake his people for his great name’s sake: because it hath pleased the Lord to make you his people. 1 Samuel 12:22

And I will dwell among the children of Israel, and will not forsake my people Israel. 1 Kings 6:13

And they that know thy name will put their trust in thee: for thou, Lord, hast not forsaken them that seek thee. Psalm 9:10

For the Lord loveth judgment, and forsaketh not his saints; they are preserved for ever: but the seed of the wicked shall be cut off. Psalm 37:28

For the Lord will not cast off his people, neither will he forsake his inheritance. Psalm 94:14

It has ever been thus: I Am Faithful and True.

And I will bring the blind by a way that they knew not; I will lead them in paths that they have not known: I will make darkness light before them, and crooked things straight. These things will I do unto them, and not forsake them. Isaiah 42:16

Fear thou not; for I am with thee: be not dismayed; for I am thy God: I will strengthen thee; yea, I will help thee; yea, I will uphold thee with the right hand of my righteousness. Isaiah 41:10

Me: Thank You Jesus! I love you! Thank You for holding Your own so securely!

Jesus: You are welcome! I love you!

Mansions Above are not Real Estate

I am grateful, Jesus, for the place prepared!

1 Let not your heart be troubled: ye believe in God, believe also in me.

2 In my Father’s house are many mansions: if it were not so, I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you.

3 And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again, and receive you unto myself; that where I am, there ye may be also.

John 14

Me: Good morning, Jesus!

Jesus: Good morning, Jon!

Me: I thank you for Your prompting to investigate the Greek behind “mansions” in John 14:2! I have never lived in a mansion, and frankly, this passage has never resonated much with me, until now.

Jesus: Yes, many have not felt the desire to seek after a fancy place to call home. But as you found out, I was talking about the marvelous and unmatched privilege of you personally, permanently abiding in relationship with the Father, and with Me, and with the Holy Spirit; all the fullness of God. The culmination of my preparation occurred at the cross, as I told Thomas:

4 And whither I go ye know, and the way ye know.

5 Thomas saith unto him, Lord, we know not whither thou goest; and how can we know the way?

6 Jesus saith unto him, I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me.

John 14

In fact, all the rest of John 14 consists of my efforts to get the disciples to look past the impending terror of the cross to the fullness of the abiding life that I Am making possible.

You should look upon the translators with grace. Words fail any effort to describe the majestic panorama of the union I Am promising and is growing even now.

Me: Thank You Jesus! Thank You! I love You!

Jesus: You are welcome! Welcome home! I love you!

Photo by u0414u0438u0430u043du0430 u0414u0443u043du0430u0435u0432u0430 on Pexels.com

Reasons to Give Thanks

I am thankful for growth, that we are constantly being built up in You, more firmly established day by day.

As ye have therefore received Christ Jesus the Lord, so walk ye in him: Rooted and built up in him, and stablished in the faith, as ye have been taught, abounding therein with thanksgiving.

Colossians 2:6-7

Me: Good evening, Jesus!

Jesus: Good evening, Jon!

Me: There is a “therefore” in Colossians 2:6. What is that there for?

Jesus: That verse stands upon the whole chapter. Paul was exhorting the Colossians to look to Me for guidance and to be able to put aside those who were bent on introducing misleading doctrines (heresies).

Me: I see some specific examples enumerated in the chapter.

Jesus: What do you see? It will be beneficial to list them.

Me: O.K. –

  1. Comfort, overcoming disquiet
  2. Unifying love
  3. Faith/assurance in understanding (not tentative)
  4. Acknowledgment of the mystery of the Goddhead
  5. Treasure trove of wisdom and knowledge in God
  6. All the above as a guard against being misled or enticed into believing attractive error
  7. Order (I Am is a God of order, not chaos. )
  8. Steadfastness
  9. Faith (in Christ)
  10. Thankfulness/gratitude
  11. Wariness against deceit, philosophy, traditions of men and the world
  12. Recognition that Jesus is the exact (complete) representation of the Godhead
  13. Recognition that we are complete in Him
  14. Recognition that Jesus is Supreme over all powers and principalities
  15. Recognition that we are given power to overcome sin in Christ
  16. We are identified with Jesus in His death (to sin) and resurrection (to eternal life)
  17. In Jesus, the law and its condemnation was fulfilled and no longer contrary to us
  18. In Jesus, we have triumph over those (evil) powers and principalities
  19. We are not to submit to legalism, but see our whole existence in Christ
  20. Jesus nourishes and holds His body together and enables it to increase (if we are bonded to Him)
  21. Those identified in the death of Christ are not subject to the ordinances of the world as a way to serve God
  22. There ought not to be any pride in obeying the ordinances of the world

Jesus: What do you think now?

Me: There is an absolutely astonishing array of guidance, protection, wisdom, and promise to be thankful for in that chapter!

Jesus: Was it helpful to write down the points made?

Me: Yes, it was! Thank you! I love You!

Jesus: You are welcome! I love you!

The Evil

Jesus, I am grateful for the things that You speak. They are truth and they are life!

13 And now come I to thee; and these things I speak in the world, that they might have my joy fulfilled in themselves.
14 I have given them thy word; and the world hath hated them, because they are not of the world, even as I am not of the world.
15 I pray not that thou shouldest take them out of the world, but that thou shouldest keep them from the evil.
16 They are not of the world, even as I am not of the world.
17 Sanctify them through thy truth: thy word is truth. John 17

John 17

https://biblehub.com/interlinear/john/17-15.htm (link added 11/19/2021)

Me: Good evening, Jesus!

Jesus: Good evening, Jon!

Me: I take great comfort in Your prayer for us. Would You help me with the significance of praying to keep us from the evil?

Jesus: Does the specific article surprise you? I want you to realize that evil is cohesive in that it represents all that has diverged from Me and My nature (and therefore My plan) according to the choice I Am giving man and had given the angels before man. The fact that the evil is manifested in myriad ways does not detract from its unified characteristic. [Hebrews 3:12 Take heed, brethren, lest there be in any of you an evil heart of unbelief, in departing from the living God.]

To say it another way, I AM holy. All that are not in Me and I in them are unholy. [Leviticus 11:44-45, 19:2, 20:7, 26, 1 Peter 1:16]

Me: Thank You, Jesus! I love You! I am thankful that Your word is both true and sanctifying. Thank You for paying my ransom!

Jesus: You are welcome! I love you!

Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com