Sunday, September 14, 2014

Healing is in the Believer's Job Description!

Are you a believer and a follower of Jesus Christ? Because Jesus is our Lord, we take His commands very seriously. Most of us have heard the great commission in Matthew 28:18-20. First, He gave us the great commission, to go into all the world, preach the gospel and baptize. Then in verse 20, we are instructed to teach everything that He commanded.
Matthew 28:18 – 20
18 And Jesus came and spoke to them, saying, “All authority has been given to Me in heaven and on earth. 19 Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, 20 teaching them to observe all things that I have commanded you; and lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age.” Amen
In the following passages from Matthew, Jesus is commanding His disciples. Notice the common message and theme that we saw in Matthew 28. As we go preach the Gospel, He gives the signs that should follow us, including healing!
Matthew 10:7
7 And as you go, preach, saying, ‘The kingdom of heaven is at hand.’ 8 Heal the sick, cleanse the lepers, raise the dead, cast out demons. Freely you have received, freely give.
Matthew 11:1
1Now it came to pass, when Jesus finished commanding His twelve disciples, that He departed from there to teach and to preach in their cities
Note: Between Matthew 10:7 and Matthew 11:1, the break in the chapter is something man put in (not God). It goes to follow that Matt 11:1 does not have a time lapse from chapter 10. Read the verses together as if they were not separated by chapter and see how they flow together.
Jesus taught His disciples how to preach the kingdom. When we study Scriptures, it is important to not only notice what is said, but also what is NOT said. In this passage, Jesus did NOT give an end date for His commands.
Mark 16:15 – 20
15 And He said to them, “Go into all the world and preach the gospel to every creature. 16 He who believes and is baptized will be saved; but he who does not believe will be condemned. 17 And these signs will follow those who believe: In My name they will cast out demons; they will speak with new tongues; 18 they will take up serpents; and if they drink anything deadly, it will by no means hurt them; they will lay hands on the sick, and they will recover.” 19 So then, after the Lord had spoken to them, He was received up into heaven, and sat down at the right hand of God. 20 And they went out and preached everywhere, the Lord working with them and confirming the word through the accompanying signs. Amen
Notice that verse 18 states that believers (1) Shall lay hands on the sick, and (2) They shall recover.
Let’s back up to verse 15. How long are we to preach the Gospel? It says we are to preach to every creature. That means that we can stop our work when every creature has heard the Gospel. Jesus said until that time, we are to keep preaching with signs following. Healing has not passed away, and will not as long as believers are doing their job.
And that’s not all! Jesus does not stop with the list of signs that follow believers in Mark 16. Read what He says in John 14:12:
John 14:12 -15
12 “Most assuredly, I say to you, he who believes in Me, the works that I do he will do also; and greater works than these he will do, because I go to My Father. 13 And whatever you ask in My name, that I will do, that the Father may be glorified in the Son. 14 If you ask anything in My name, I will do it. 15 If you love Me, keep My commandments.
We believe on Jesus, so we are authorized and commanded to not only do the works that He did, we are to do GREATER works! What works did Jesus do? Healed the sick, raised the dead, cast out devils, fed the multitudes, commanded the weather and preached the Gospel. Jesus said that we are able to do these things because He went unto the Father. Jesus gave no ending criteria to these mighty works, He only gave the beginning: “because He went to the Father.”
In verse 15, we see that if we love Him, we are to keep His commandments. Often when Christians hear the word, “commandments,” we think of the 10 commandments given to Moses; Jesus is talking about doing everything that He commanded and did, and even greater things. Jesus ALWAYS healed the sick. We have no record of Jesus refusing or being unable to heal someone. If we love Jesus, we will lay hands on the sick and God will heal them. By laying hands on the sick, we are also obeying the command to love our neighbor.
To get a different perspective, turn Jesus’ statement in verse 12 around: We cannot say that we love Jesus if we do not keep His commandments.
We don’t need prompting, we have Scripture
To be led, do the Word; take the Word literally.
The Holy Spirit leads us into all Truth. Once He leads us into truth, we are responsible for acting on it.
When you stand before people, you represent God to them; when you stand before God, you represent the people to Him.
We are to love God and love our neighbor, doing to others as we would want done for us.
We are led by truth and compassion.
No one cares how much you know until they know how much you care.
We know that divine healing and divine health are ours because Jesus paid for all sickness and disease at the whipping post. He was also given all authority over everything after He rose from the dead; thus so have we.
We know that Jesus said that we only need to believe (have faith) and we will receive healing, along with all the other blessings and promises of God. Remember that healing is only one of the promises of God. There are many others, and they are all received in the same way.

Tuesday, September 2, 2014

One God

Monotheism is the belief that there is only one God.  The revelation of the one God was given to the nation of Israel through the patriarchs and prophets.  To help the nation retain this revelation, the people were to teach diligently their children that “The Lord our God is one Lord.”  (See Deuteronomy 9:4-7.)  The teaching was to be passed from one generation to the next. 
God’s revelation has not changed but remains the same.  It is important that we recognize the oneness of God.    Recognition deals with both knowing and accepting.   Many people in the world do not know who God is nor acknowledge that there is one God.   But God desires that we should both know Him and know that there is none other beside Him.

“Look unto me, and be ye saved, all the ends of the earth: for I am God, and there is none else.” Isaiah 45: 22

Many verses of Scripture emphasize that He alone is God:

“Thus saith the Lord the King of Israel, and his redeemer the Lord of hosts; I am the first, and I am the last; and beside me there is no God.”  (Isaiah 44:6) 

Jesus is the first and last (see Revelations 1:17-18)  While on the isle of Patmos John saw Jesus Christ in the midst of the golden candlesticks, the sight was so awesome that John fell at Christ’s feet as though he were dead. 

Jesus said “Fear not; I am the first and last: I am he that liveth, and was dead; and, behold, I am alive for evermore.”  

“Ye are my witnesses, saith the Lord, and my servant whom I have chosen: that ye may know and believe me, and understand that I am he: before me there was no God formed, neither shall there be after me.  (Isaiah 43:10)  

World  Book Dictionary defines form as shape of a body, the way a thing exists, takes shape, or shows itself; manifestation.  God formed Himself a body in the womb of Mary.  Jesus, the Christ, was the one God manifested in the flesh.  Since God is spirit (See John 4:24), He could not been seen unless He takes a form.
In the Old Testament God revealed Himself or made Himself known in various ways such as in the form of a burning bush, a cloud, or a pillar of fire.   He also appeared in angelic form.    All these manifestations of God were leading humans to the glorious appearance of the Almighty God in the body of Jesus Christ!  (See Hebrews 1: 1-3)

“And the Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us, (and we beheld his glory, the glory of the only begotten of the Father,) full of grace and truth.”  John 1:14

“And without controversy great is the mystery of godliness: God was manifest in the flesh, justified in the Spirit, seen of angels, preached unto the Gentiles, believed on in the world, received up in glory.” I Timothy 3:16

Jesus is the one true God.  Many try to define Him as the second person in the Godhead, part of a Holy Trinity.  However, God is one.  This is the teaching in both the Old and New Testaments.  This revelation has not changed.  He is our Father in creation and in relationship to His Son (body/form which He created).  Through the Son, he provided redemption for sinful man.  God is the Holy Spirit in the work of regeneration.  God has revealed Himself in many ways in the Old and New Testaments.