healing

Paul and Dispensationalism #18

Tuesday, August 25, 2015

“And lest I should be exalted above measure through the abundance of the revelations, there was given to me a thorn in the flesh, the messenger of Satan to buffet me, lest I should be exalted above measure. For this thing I besought the Lord thrice, that it might depart from me. 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. 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 Corinthians 12:7-10 KJV).

What else can the Apostle Paul teach us about dispensational Bible study?

Christendom abounds with deceived, confused, heartbroken, and bitter people. Why? Drawn away from God’s grace, they live in a fantasyland. Why? Claiming Israel’s verses as their own just failed them miserably, but they are in denial.

Touting their “gifts” of “healing,” imitating “Jesus’ miracles,” they lay hands on the sick… only to have those ill further deteriorate health-wise and then (?) “die in peace.” Delusion! Parading their “healing” powers, they themselves purchase health insurance, use prescription medications, and visit emergency rooms when “the Lord does not come through.” Delusion! They handle venomous snakes “as Jesus commanded” and pay the ultimate price—physical death (maybe spiritual death, too!). Delusion!

They hear prosperity preachers claim Israel’s “wealth” verses, and delightful “testimonies” of those who received “enormous sums of money from God.” Then, they spend their savings purchasing candles, prayer cloths, books, good-luck charms, saintly medallions… such arrangement ensures only the prosperity preachers prosper! Delusion!

Paul teaches us that God’s grace is sufficient in all circumstances (today’s Scripture; cf. Philippians 4:11-13)—daily hassles, sickness, suffering, poverty, et cetera. When someone offers you a “miracle healing,” a “material blessing from God,” a “divine transfer of money,” they are drawing you away from God’s grace, which grace God the Holy Spirit says is enough! Dear brother or sister, He gave it all to you already in Christ (Romans 8:32; Ephesians 1:3; Philippians 4:19; Colossians 2:10)! You have all spiritual blessings in Christ (Ephesians 1:3). God has nothing left to give! 🙂

Paul and Dispensationalism #12

Wednesday, August 19, 2015

“Brethren, be ye followers together of me, and mark them which walk so as ye have us for an ensample” (Philippians 3:17 KJV).

What else can the Apostle Paul teach us about dispensational Bible study?

Many earnest Christians say, “I do not follow man. I go by what Jesus said.” Bless their dear hearts—they follow the traditions of men by following Jesus’ words to Jews. Jesus Himself said He was not God’s spokesman to us Gentiles: “I am not sent but unto the lost sheep of the house of Israel” (Matthew 15:24). Are you a lost sheep of the house of Israel? Then, Jesus’ earthly ministry does not apply to you (2 Corinthians 5:16)!

Paul is our apostle (Romans 11:13) whereas Jesus Christ is Israel’s Apostle (Hebrews 3:1). It thoroughly astonishes Bible readers to learn that the Apostle Paul is the person we should follow, not Jesus in His earthly ministry. Jesus never said we Gentiles need to follow Him. However, we do find Jesus Christ speaking through Paul and instructing us to follow Paul as he follows Jesus Christ. “Be ye followers of me, even as I also am of Christ” (1 Corinthians 11:1). “Those things, which ye have both learned, and received, and heard, and seen in me, do: and the God of peace shall be with you” (Philippians 4:9).

Friend, if you do not know where to go in the Bible to retrieve God’s Word to and about you, you have no hope in ever understanding the Bible. You will not know the baptism valid for you; you will not know how to handle sickness; you will not have a clear Gospel message to believe; you will not know how to pray; you will not know how God’s Spirit works in you today as a believer; you will not know how to function as a spouse, child, student, parent, boss, employee, pastor, teacher, neighbor, citizen; and so on.

You cannot find victorious Christian living in the Old Testament, the Four Gospels, the early part of Acts, or Hebrews through Revelation. If you want victorious Christian living, you must go to the Holy Spirit’s instructions found in Paul’s 13 epistles, Romans through Philemon. This is the key to Christianity’s doctrinal dilemma!

When Reality Catches Up

Tuesday, June 23, 2015

“For we know that the whole creation groaneth and travaileth in pain together until now. And not only they, but ourselves also, which have the firstfruits of the Spirit, even we ourselves groan within ourselves, waiting for the adoption, to wit, the redemption of our body” (Romans 8:22,23 KJV).

Paul reaffirms that the Christian is not promised good health in this the Dispensation of Grace!

Scanning a newspaper sometime ago, I read the “obituaries” page and noticed a rather peculiar item—the death notice of the wife of a local “faith healing” pastor! (Her cause of death unknown.) Or, consider the well-known “faith healer” who was recently suffering cardiopulmonary issues and had to be hospitalized. More lately, a “faith healer” preaching on the internet recounted the time when he experienced influenza (and there was no instant healing for him!). All the “healing” claims aside, even the “faith healers” purchase medical insurance, grow sick, seek medical help, and, yes, they eventually die, too.

Dearly beloved, we can deceive ourselves into believing “healing” testimonies and attending “healing” crusades, or we can just believe today’s Scripture. As long as our Dispensation of Grace is operating, there can be no divine intervention regarding physical healing: “The whole creation groaneth and travaileth in pain together until now.” Someone may object and say that this verse does not apply to us Christians. The next verse of today’s Scripture answers them: “And not only they, but ourselves also, which have the firstfruits of the Spirit, even we ourselves groan within ourselves, waiting for the adoption, to wit, the redemption of our body.”

Our physical bodies have not yet been redeemed. They are still subject to sin, sickness, and death (2 Corinthians 4:16-18). Thankfully, by God’s grace, we have immune systems, medical professionals, and prescription drugs. Even when these are not enough, and we must succumb to physical death, in Christ, we could not be headed to a better place! Above all, no matter what type of sickness or trouble, God’s grace is truly sufficient, surely enough, for us to bear it, that it not destroy us spiritually (2 Corinthians 12:7-10). Spiritual fortitude—may we have it when we have bodily illness, that misery not have us (Romans 5:1-5)! 🙂

Our latest Bible Q&A: “Was Saul a pastor, a prophet, or an evangelist?

Praying Like Elijah #13

Monday, March 2, 2015

“Elias was a man subject to like passions as we are, and he prayed earnestly that it might not rain: and it rained not on the earth by the space of three years and six months” (James 5:17 KJV).

Why did Elijah pray like this, what was so special about his prayer that God answered it, and how can we have our prayers answered of God?

The ascended, risen, and glorified Lord Jesus Christ revealed the mystery to the Apostle Paul over the course of nearly 35 years. This information was completely different from what God had revealed to the Old Testament prophets, the writings Paul had studied intensely when he was lost (see Romans 16:25,26, Ephesians 3:1-12, and Colossians 1:23-27). Now that God had ushered in a new dispensation, Paul had to think differently about God. He had to quit praying according to the old divine revelation, and pray according to the new divine revelation.

In 2 Corinthians chapter 12, after talking about the various visions and revelations of Jesus Christ he had, Paul discusses how he was humbled: “[7] And lest I should be exalted above measure through the abundance of the revelations, there was given to 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.”

“We know not what we should pray for as we ought” (Romans 8:26b). Since there was more revelation from God coming, Paul was, in 2 Corinthians 12:8, not praying according to the new program. He was still thinking of God’s promise to deliver Israel from problems. Verse 9, “And he said unto me, My grace is sufficient for thee: for my strength is made perfect in weakness.” There, in that awful, vexing circumstance, Paul learned one thing—God had given the grace, the capacity, to endure it. Rather than deliverance, Jesus Christ promised inner strength, inner fortification, inner power, to bear the trouble.

Paul had to readjust his view of problems and prayer, and we will let him tell us how we should go about doing it….

Praying Like Elijah #12

Sunday, March 1, 2015

“Elias was a man subject to like passions as we are, and he prayed earnestly that it might not rain: and it rained not on the earth by the space of three years and six months” (James 5:17 KJV).

Why did Elijah pray like this, what was so special about his prayer that God answered it, and how can we have our prayers answered of God?

“Rabbi Shaul” was one of the most educated Mosaic scholars of his day. From a very early age, he had studied the Mosaic Law. Learning those Old Testament scrolls, he came to understand that whenever his people Israel suffered any sickness/plague, war, calamity, et cetera, it was divine punishment. He noted how Israel’s conversion and prayer resulted in God removing the problem.

Once “Rabbi Shaul” became “Apostle Paul,” he was intensely persecuted. To Gentiles and Jews alike, he was a renegade Jew, a peculiar fellow. Formerly a religious leader who could not stand to even hear the name “Jesus of Nazareth,” now a “religious leader” who could not stand to be silent about the name of Jesus Christ! Now that he was not preaching Judaism, Israel was after him! Now that he was preaching an illegal religion, Rome was after him! Now that he was not preaching blasphemy, Satan was after him!

We read in 2 Corinthians chapter 12: “[6] For though I would desire to glory, I shall not be a fool; for I will say the truth: but now I forbear, lest any man should think of me above that which he seeth me to be, or that he heareth of me. [7] And lest I should be exalted above measure through the abundance of the revelations, there was given to 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.”

Satan afflicted Paul with something that constantly irritated him (there is Scriptural evidence that it was likely ophthalmic in nature). Three times Paul prayed to the Lord for deliverance, and Paul was shocked to learn the Lord’s answer….

Where Was God? #7

Friday, September 20, 2013

“Why standest thou afar off, O LORD? why hidest thou thyself in times of trouble?” (Psalm 10:1 KJV).

One of the most common questions ever asked….

Jesus Christ said of Israel, “Except ye see signs and wonders, ye will not believe” (John 4:48). Signs, miracles, and wonders are the nation Israel’s birthright: in Psalm 74:9, Israel confesses they are our signs.” Paul wrote, “For the Jews require a sign” (1 Corinthians 1:22a).

Rather than seeking visible and audible proof of God’s working today—angelic visitations, miraculous healings, financial deliverance, “small still voices,” et cetera—we walk by faith. When writing to and about us in this the Dispensation of Grace, Paul wrote, “(For we walk by faith, not by sight: )” (2 Corinthians 5:7). Jesus Christ stated, “Thomas, because thou hast seen me, thou hast believed: blessed are they that have not seen, and yet have believed” (John 20:29).

Where is God during tragedies? He is working in and through us Christians using His Word, that those troubles not destroy us. The way God intervenes today is by directly (yet invisibly) working in our inner man: He takes His rightly divided Word that we study and believe, and His indwelling Holy Spirit uses it to transform us from the inside out. Read 1 Thessalonians 2:13: “…the word of God, which effectually worketh also in you that believe.”

God gives us strength (Philippians 4:11-13) and grace to bear those troubles (2 Corinthians 12:7-10). Philippians 2:13: “For it is God which worketh in you both to will and to do of his good pleasure.” Paul prayed: “That he [God] would grant you, according to the riches of his glory, to be strengthened with might by his Spirit in the inner man” (Ephesians 3:16). See 2 Corinthians 4:16-18.

Jesus Christ, the King of kings and Lord of lords, is exiled today. He is sitting at His heavenly Father’s right hand in glory. Until He returns to earth and deposes Satan and his minions, this “present evil world” will continue as is (Galatians 1:4; cf. 2 Corinthians 4:4). Let us remember that we have hope: we Christians are not here forever, and while we are here, the Lord is in us and here with us! 🙂

A Doxology of Doctrine During Distressing Days #5

Friday, April 5, 2013

For our light affliction, which is but for a moment, worketh for us a far more exceeding and eternal weight of glory; (2 Corinthians 4:17 KJV).

A brief, light annoyance—an everlasting, much heavier weight of praise and worship….

One of the primary causes of the charismatic movement, besides a failure to understand the Bible dispensationally, is that its proponents are seeking God’s power and love. They believe that God needs to demonstrate His power and His love for them by removing their troubles and healing their sick bodies. They want literal, physical, visible proof of God’s presence. Because it is ironic, the thought never occurs to them that God’s wisdom, love, and power could be—and are—demonstrated by Him not removing their troubles and sicknesses.

In the context of today’s Scripture (4:1–6:18), the Apostle Paul discussed the ministry we have as “ambassadors for Christ” (2 Corinthians 5:20). He lists various afflictions that he and we Christians suffer, but concluded: “But we have this treasure in earthen vessels, that the excellency of the power may be of God, and not of us” (2 Corinthians 4:7).

Notice, “that the excellency of the power may be of God, and not of us.” Why do we have the treasure—the life of Jesus Christ—in our earthen vessels—our weak, limited physical bodies? So the exceeding greatness of God’s power can be demonstrated and our inadequacy in and of ourselves can be manifested.

When the Apostle Paul later commented about his various sufferings, he wrote: “And [the Lord] 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 God may rest upon me. 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 Corinthians 12:9,10).

To wit, we can and do endure difficult circumstances, not because of ourselves, but due to God’s power strengthening us by transforming our inner man to become the very life of Jesus Christ. What a concept….!