Tuesday, March 06, 2007

Healing on Demand (A Rant by Jason)

Isaiah 53:5
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.

That is an amazing verse of scripture and it speaks volumes about the love that God has for us. That our Lord was willing to suffer so much and sacrifice himself for us, is a love beyond what our sinful minds are capable of comprehending.

However, sad to say, a great debate rages around this verse, and it is important that we understand what the word of God is saying to us here, so we don’t get wrapped up in false doctrine. Lets break the verse down and see what God is telling us.

…"he was wounded for our transgressions", Pesha; peh-shah (transgression), this word means willful deviation from and rebellion against God.

…"he was bruised for our iniquities", Avon. aw-vone(iniquities), this word literally means perversion or moral evil.

OK, so lets pause for a moment, up to here everyone should pretty much agree that Jesus died to save our souls, thereby washing us clean from our sins, only the most rank heretic would disagree with that. The problem comes after this, you see up until this point it was obvious that what the Lord did was of a spiritual nature. The disagreement arises when the verse seems to turn to the physical body of man, "with his stripes we are healed".

Its easy enough to understand what Isaiah was saying when he spoke of the chastisement of our peace so I’m not going to spend any time speaking to that. The controversy is on "with his stripes we are healed." Many in what calls itself the faith movement would stand up and scream that this promises every Christian healing the instant they ask for it, and if they don’t get it then its their own fault, their faith wasn’t “strong enough”, etc.... My question is this, considering the whole scripture or:

1 Corinthians 2:13(b) ...comparing spiritual things with spiritual.

Does the whole of scripture teach that healing is there for us "on demand" or does it say something else entirely?

First off lets meet one popular misconception head on:

Luke 8:48
And he said unto her, Daughter, be of good comfort: thy faith hath made thee whole; go in peace.

Now here is the question, was it the woman’s faith that ultimately made her whole or was it because of who she had faith in? That is the one thing that bothers me about the faith healers, they claim that all you need is faith yet they spend very little time making it clear as to the source of the faith they purport. Some of the more rank heretics even go as far as to claim that it doesn’t matter its all about following a supposed list of spiritual laws, utter heresy since there is no such thing ever even remotely mentioned in scripture. So apparently it matters that a person direct their faith in the right direction or to the right person. Ok, so then the question becomes who, lets talk about that for a minute. Can you go to just anyone as say, "hey I want to be healed" and expect healing? Of course not only someone who was severely delusional would believe such nonsense.

Ok so someone might say there is no one else to place your faith in besides Jesus, or of course the faith healers mean for you to place your faith in Jesus. Ok, then the question becomes, why do they promote themselves? Why do you turn on the TV or the radio and hear, "reach out to me as a powerful point of contact"… I thought our faith was supposed to be in Jesus, not in the person who claims to be a healer?

You see the Greek word used for Faith in the verse above is “pistis”, which literally means trust. Because the woman trusted Jesus she was made whole again. It was not the trust that healed her, it was God that touched her and made her whole. Faith is not a force that can be called upon, it is only by the power of God that we are healed. The reason our Lord made the statement that her faith had made her whole, was because of her ferverent trust in Christ, God reached down and healed her. No special formula to follow, no mystical force, just plain and simple the sister believed in Christ and God healed her.

You can have faith in some man, or some pagan god or some great spirit of the forest but it would all be a waste of time.

I’ve been on this soapbox for sometime now and it seems that the Lord hasn’t taken it out of my mind to get down off of it, so I’m not going to. There are many promises that the bible gives us, one of them is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord. However none of them are "healing on demand". So of course we come back to "with his stripes we are healed”. Is this speaking about physical healing or spiritual healing? Let’s go all the way back to Genesis for a moment and look at the current condition of mankind.

Genesis 3:19
In the sweat of thy face shalt thou eat bread, till thou return unto the ground; for out of it wast thou taken: for dust thou art, and unto dust shalt thou return.

When Adam sinned this curse passed upon all men and it still reigns over men today. The death rate among human beings is one hundred percent, everyone that is born dies. So lets pause and consider, if healing is promised on demand, why are people still dieing? Lets move on though, we will come back and answer this a little later.

The Bible says that no sin can enter into the presence of God, so in other words we must be perfectly sinless when we step before the throne in heaven. Can we achieve this on our own? Absolutely not, not a chance, it could never happen. Only by the cleansing power of the Blood of Jesus Christ can we be presented spotless before God. So in other words our sinful nature can only be cleansed and healed by Jesus Christ.

If we continue reading in Isaiah chapter fifty-three, we see that God laid our iniquities on the back of Jesus, that it pleased God to bruise our Lord. Nothing that mortal man could do to Jesus had any effect on our salvation. The sin debt was not against man but against God. So how could the whip of a roman soldier do anything to affect our standing with God? It couldn't, what saved us was the fact that Jesus paid the debt to God for us, that He suffered the punishment of Yahweh when He hung on the cross.

You see nothing about Isaiah 53:5 is of a physical nature, it’s all about what Jesus did for us or more correctly in place of us. He did what we could not do, He reconciled us to God, He made it possible for us to stand before God in Heaven and saved us from eternity in Hellfire and Brimstone. Jesus did heal us, our souls are no longer destined for hell, the spiritual value of what the Lord did for us, far out weighs any healing of our sinful bodies that we can think of.

Sure the Bible says we can ask God to heal our mortal bodies, and sometimes, when God in His sovereign will chose to do so we are healed by the power of God. There is however no promise that we will be healed just because we asked for it.

2 Corinthians 12:7-10
And lest I should be exalted above measure through the abundance of the revelations, there was given me a thorn in the flesh, the messenger of Satan to buffet me, lest I should be exalted above measure.
8 For this thing I besought the Lord thrice, that it might depart from me.
9 And he said unto me, My grace is sufficient for thee: for my strength is made perfect in weakness. Most gladly therefore will I rather glory in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me.
10 Therefore I take pleasure in infirmities, in reproaches, in necessities, in persecutions, in distresses for Christ's sake: for when I am weak, then am I strong.

2 Timothy 4:20
Erastus abode at Corinth: but Trophimus have I left at Miletum sick.

1 Timothy 5:23
Drink no longer water, but use a little wine for thy stomach's sake and thine often infirmities.

First we see Paul, arguably the greatest of the Apostles, a man whose dedication to the cause of Christ was beyond question, asking three times for an infirmities to be removed, and what was God's answer? NO! Yes the Lord hears all of our prayers and yes He answers every single one, but sometimes the answer is no. God knows better than we do what we need. Plus we are supposed to seek to follow the will of our Heavenly Father, believe it or not sometimes its not Gods will for us to be healed. Sometimes He might be trying to teach us a lesson, sometimes it may indeed be punishment for wrong doing, sometimes it may be to draw us closer to him, or it could be to give strength to someone else who is going through something similar. We wont always understand what God has planned for us at the beginning of a particular trial, the point is to have faith(trust) in God that He will see us through no matter what trial it is we are going through. And if we or a loved one is allowed to die then we should not mourn, for to be with Christ in Heaven is far better than to be here on this wretched cursed world.

In closing let me point out a few more verses, Jesus never promised us healing on demand, neither did any of the apostles, or the old testament prophets for that matter.

John 16:33
These things I have spoken unto you, that in me ye might have peace. In the world ye shall have tribulation: but be of good cheer; I have overcome the world.

1John 5:15
And if we know that he hears us, whatsoever we ask, we know that we have the petitions that we desired of him.

First off the words of our Lord, by whose stripes we are healed, in the world ye shall have tribulation" in other words until we die and go to heaven, or until the Lord himself returns we can count on persecution and infirmities. Jesus told us to be at peace in Him, for He overcame the world on our behalf.

Secondly note what the apostle John says, "we know we have the petitions we desired of him." We pray and ask God to heal us or a friend or family member but then we trust that God will do what needs to be done, whether that be imediate healing, eventual healing or something else. God knows better than we do, the point is for us to direct our faith to Jesus and trust that God has our best interest in mind and He will do what needs to be done to accomplish His will, which is to be our hearts desire as well.


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