. Eternal Saviour or Eternal Doctor (Part 5)

SOME BIBLICAL MEAT ON HEALING


We have set the table over the past few weeks to understand certain aspects of healing. With Covid and many of our people not well, this is an extremely relevant topic. Statements are made on healing that constantly leaves Christianity embarrassed, as the claims of those most vocal simply just do not work, and instead of glorifying God, it eclipses the glory of God.

 

Two of the verses quoted which has been the foundation of this sermon series is the well-known Isaiah 53:5 (ESV) 5 But he was wounded for our transgressions; he was crushed for our iniquities; upon him was the chastisement that brought us peace, and with his stripes we are healed” and 1 Peter 2:24 (ESV) 24 He himself bore our sins in his body on the tree, that we might die to sin and live to righteousness. By his wounds you have been healed.”

We have so many of our church family and relatives who are dealing now with disease and then of course Covid. My daughter Shannon and her hubby Bones were hard hit by it. They seemed to recover and had a setback. Amongst those listening today is Shaun and Bernadette with little Sharlene. Shaun went back to work on Friday, Bernadette back to the doctor. I think of Lynn Moulineaux and her mom and daughter who also got hard hit. They live across the road from Ons Tuiste. A good friend of mine since childhood, is in ICU fighting for his life. My sister in law has Covid. Pastor Willem Nel who preached here a while ago lost his mother yesterday. Les Gerber’s son in law Fred has been tested positive. Cecilia is okay. Then we have all the other cases, Les, Clive, Tan, Bernadette and Vanessa with Pain, Yvonne Roodt struggling with her arm, and Annemarie Theron that is not feeling well at all. I am sure I am missing a few.

 

If we believe that Jesus died for our physical healing we have a problem, then Christianity is not working out and it is worthy to walk away from, as it’s claims are not substantiated. Our studies of Isaiah 53:5 and 1 Peter 2:24 brought us to the conclusion that it teaches Spiritual healing and not physical healing. We saw in our first two sets of studies that the biggest proponents for that view in the Word of Faith Movement, in fact, their founders have died of sickness. I guess there are very few Christians in the world who can claim that they have never been sick, and very few have been able to substantiate miraculous healing. Yet people in the movements with this particular theology continue to rip Scripture out of context, to misquote it and to lie on behalf of the text. They keep on spewing this theology and mislead Christians left right and centre as their claims sound so bold and spiritual and convincing. But they do not have the data to support their argument.

 

I want to share a message going around on WhatsApp at the moment. If I sent it to you, you would see that WhatsApp claims that it has been forwarded many times. Some might forward it without thinking, others like some did with me forwarded it to me as an illustration of bad theology, but the vast majority believe it because it sounds spiritual, it sounds good, and it sounds like the truth. The designers of these articles might be sincere, but they are sincerely wrong. So much of this WhatsApp that I quickly want to look at has been debunked in our previous studies of Scripture. This for us will be a good learning moment as I will remind you of the studies we did that disproves every line of this message. It is in Afrikaans, so I will translate and say quite a bit more than I will provide you in text form.

 

The first part I will summaries in English. This WhatsApp message claims that it is an urgent call as Glynnwood hospital has no more oxygen. They have no more beds and all their staff have been called on duty, and people are dying. We are asked to become part of 1 million people who pray a simple prayer to our Father to prevent the virus from spreading. So, 1 million people praying THIS prayer will force the hand of God. I personally think there might be 100’s of millions of believers in the world each day who intercede before the throne regarding the outworking of this virus. But they did not pray THIS PRAYER. You are then asked to send this to 10 people, and please do not break the chain. These kinds of messages we all have received from many fronts before. This one at least did not have a threat that your teeth will fall out if you break the chain. Did we not study this in Isaiah 1:15 (ESV) with the “State of the nation address by God.” 15 When you spread out your hands, I will hide my eyes from you; even though you make many prayers, I will not listen; your hands are full of blood.” Far too many believers think that lots of prayers, or little prayers by lots of people will do it.

 

We are then told that it will not take longer than 30 seconds. WOW, what a bargain. We all can afford 30 seconds out of our day to pray a specific prayer and a worldwide crisis will be solved. Remember our study on Luke 11 on prayer. Jesus teaches us to ask and keep on asking. So, 1 million people times 30 seconds is all it will take to sort out this major problem. It sounds like Catholicism with 100 Hail Mary’s or the Baal Priests on the mountain with Elijah. Just these opening remarks, we have studied with our study on prayer, on 2 Chronicles 7:14 (ESV) 14 if my people who are called by my name humble themselves, and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven and will forgive their sin and heal their land.” Sadly, Israel did not humble themselves, pray as they should and turn from their wicked ways, and they ended in captivity. Also critical is that we cannot claim to be God’s nation and ask for our land to be healed. I will say much more very soon on this topic of the nations.

 

Let’s get to the prayer, and really ask God to keep us from being deceived. I will post the Afrikaans, but translate it in English.

 

GEBED

Vader God, in die magtige Naam van Jesus!

 

“Ek bid, praat en verklaar genesing regoor die Nasies van die wêreld. Ons staan ​​en vertrou op U beloftes! Geen plaag mag naby ons woning kom nie. Genees ons, want deur  U wonde is ons genees!”

 

“I pray, speak and decree healing over all the Nations of the world. We stand and trust Your promises. No plaque is allowed to come close to our homes. Heal us, because, by your stripes we are healed.”

 

Again, a total misunderstanding of Isaiah 53. But such a wrong view of God and a high view of man. The common error that what we speak will happen. Healing over the nations. Kenneth Copeland failed in this regard in March. He dealt with the virus, declared it gone around the world. Sadly, he failed. The simple claim that this is part of God’s promises is a blatant lie, otherwise it makes God a liar. Again, our study on prayer taught us how to pray. We looked at Luke 11:2-4 (ESV), but let us not forget Matthew 6:5-13 (ESV) 5 “And when you pray, you must not be like the hypocrites. For they love to stand and pray in the synagogues and at the street corners, that they may be seen by others. Truly, I say to you, they have received their reward. 6 But when you pray, go into your room and shut the door and pray to your Father who is in secret. And your Father who sees in secret will reward you. 7 “And when you pray, do not heap up empty phrases as the Gentiles do, for they think that they will be heard for their many words. 8 Do not be like them, for your Father knows what you need before you ask him. 9 Pray then like this: “Our Father in heaven, hallowed be your name. 10 Your kingdom come, your will be done, on earth as it is in heaven. 11 Give us this day our daily bread, 12 and forgive us our debts, as we also have forgiven our debtors. 13 And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil.”

 

There is no “Our Father in heaven, hallowed be your name. 10 Your kingdom come, your will be done, on earth as it is in heaven”, even with the opening line of “Father God, in the mighty Name of Jesus!”

 

The prayer goes on. “Raak die gedagtes en harte van ons leiers aan om slegs die raad van God vir die nasies uit te over (State of Nation – Leaders are not necessarily children of God. No Christian Nation.) Wat die duiwel ook al teen die nasies beplan het, word in Jesus se naam afgesny. (Bold, it might be sent from God.)

 

“Touch the minds and hearts of our leaders to follow only the counsel of God for all the nations. What the devil has planned for the nations, we cut off now in Jesus’ name.”

Both you and I know that hardly any leaders in the world are born again children of God with any desire to do the will of God. Why must God bless the nations. They have his counsel and have rejected it. America is starting to feel the brunt of their godless approach to the things of God. Biden and Harris put the hands on the Bible and made certain promises and so much of what they are doing is Godless to the point that even the Catholic church, where he is a member want to refuse him communion as his actions in the week are in conflict with their teachings. Oh, I wish our world leaders will come to Christ, but Christian, I have read the Bible and we know it will get worse. I have in my Bible 2 Thessalonians 2:11-12 (ESV) 11 Therefore God sends them a strong delusion, so that they may believe what is false, 12 in order that all may be condemned who did not believe the truth but had pleasure in unrighteousness.”

 

Then the statement that “What the devil has planned, we cut off in the Name of Jesus”. Who says, it is what the Devil has planned. Sure, the hand of Satan is mightily in it, but do we not have a situation here as we see in Job. God has over the years sent calamities and pestilence. He can still. I fear to speak on God’s behalf on this matter. But you know what. If the Word of Faith movement existed in the time of Job, they would cut off or bind Satan in Jesus name and rob Job from a blessing. We saw it the other day with the story of Joseph, and what Satan intended for harm, God intended for their good. We saw it with Judas. Just think if Judas betraying Jesus could have been stopped in the name of Jesus, we would not have salvation. We need to be careful people.

 

The prayer goes on. “Vader ons doen 'n beroep op U om die wêreld te verlos (Why, escatologically things are going to get worse. Last Sunday’s message from 2 Colossions. God will send a delusion) Sodat U verheerlik sal word. Ons vra nederig dat U wil geskied! Ons bid hierdie spesiale seën oor diegene wat hierdie gebed lees en dit aan ander oordra! Ek verklaar oorwinning in Jesus se naam! Amen! (Again bold, but misguided – there is only one who declares.) Eer aan God! Stuur dit aan asseblief!

 

“Father we ask you to heal the nations, so that you may be glorified. We ask humbly that your will be done. We pray a special blessing over those who read this prayer and send it on to others. I declare victory in Jesus Name! Amen!” The last statement is “Glory to God! Please send this on – to your 10 people.”

 

Again, why will God heal the nations? The Bible is clear that things will get worse. When Christ returns, will He find faith on earth. The next statement is a dichotomy. Suddenly we humbly ask for His will to be done, and for Him to be glorified, while in another breath we decree, bind, cut off. I think it is critical for God’s will to be done, and for us as believers to do God’s will during this pandemic. We pray that God’s will be done, but we already declare victory. This whole prayer is nothing but Word of Faith cliches mixed with a bit of Biblical theology. The bargain is that God is asked to give a special blessing to those who pray this 30 second prayer with unbiblical statements. Friends on the surface this seems good and God glorifying but deep down it screams against what the Word of God teaches.

 

We have set the table, so for today and next Sunday, let us put some food on the plates. We understand miracles, the ages of miracles, providence, coincidence etc. But let us get to some meat. It is going to be softy steaks, as we do not have time for the thick, tuff ones.

 

So, what does the Word of God teach?

Firstly, the Bible does not specifically link physical healing with spiritual healing. Sometimes people are physically healed when they place their faith in Christ, but this is not always the case. Sometimes it is God’s will to heal, but sometimes it is not. The apostle John gives us the proper perspective: 1 John 5:14-15 (ESV) 14 And this is the confidence that we have toward him, that if we ask anything according to his will, he hears us. 15 And if we know that he hears us in whatever we ask, we know that we have the requests that we have asked of him.”

 

God still performs miracles. God still heals people. Sickness, disease, pain, and death are still realities in this world. Unless the Lord returns, everyone who is alive today will die, and the vast majority of them (Christians included) will die as the result of a physical problem (disease, sickness, injury). It is not always God’s will to heal us physically, otherwise all who get sick will be healed. And if somebody is healed you know that it was God’s will. When we see prayers answered, any prayers we know it was at the centre of the will of God. But, who knows God’s will better than any of us? The Holy Spirit of course. Paul has much to say about this Romans 8:26-28 (ESV) 26 Likewise the Spirit helps us in our weakness. For we do not know what to pray for as we ought, but the Spirit himself intercedes for us with groanings too deep for words. 27 And he who searches hearts knows what is the mind of the Spirit, because the Spirit intercedes for the saints according to the will of God. 28 And we know that for those who love God all things work together for good, for those who are called according to his purpose.” God has purposes, and Covid can very much be in the purposes of God, and even Covid will work out for our Good. But know this, Christian. The Holy Spirit perfectly knows the will of God and He intercedes for us exactly according to that will, and God hears the Holy Spirit because He prays according to the will of God.

 

We might not get healed, we might die due to Covid or other sicknesses. Ultimately, our full physical healing awaits us in heaven. In heaven, there will be no more pain, sickness, disease, suffering, or death which we read about in Revelation 21 v 4. We all need to be less preoccupied with our physical condition in this world and a lot more concerned with our spiritual condition. Romans 12:1-2 (ESV) 1 I appeal to you therefore, brothers, by the mercies of God, to present your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and acceptable to God, which is your spiritual worship. 2 Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that by testing you may discern what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect.”

 

Let us end today by reading Revelation 21:4 that describes the true healing we all should be longing for. Revelation 21:4 (ESV) 4 He will wipe away every tear from their eyes, and death shall be no more, neither shall there be mourning, nor crying, nor pain anymore, for the former things have passed away.”

 

Next week we will deal with the gift of healing, why God does not heal all people, and the anointing with oil subject.