Wednesday, March 30, 2016

Maybe everyone knows this, but

Our Three-fold Redemption:

Maybe everyone already knows this: 

Most of us know that Jesus died for our sins. There is so much more. How many know that He also died so that we might have health in our physical bodies? And in our souls? Matt. 8:16-17 says Jesus healed all that were ______ that it might be fulfilled, which was spoken by Isaiah the prophet, saying Himself took our infirmities and bore our __________. Does this verse indicate Jesus healed spiritual or physical illness (or both?) as a fulfillment of Isa. 53:5. The Isaiah prophecy states, with His stripes we are ______________. Does “we” include you and me?
In the Garden of Gethsemane, Jesus began to reverse the curse which happened in Eden's Garden. We know that Jesus became "exceedingly sorrowful," so that blood ran from his pours like sweat. This was not a natural sorrow. It was not born of fear for what He knew He must suffer. Yes, He dreaded being separated from His Father for the first time ever. However, He also was bearing the sorrows of the world. Every grief, heartache, disappointment, discouragement, He took on Himself in fulfillment of Isa. 53:5.
When He suffered the cruel whip lashes from a cat-o-nine tails embedded with barbs, He was taking on every sickness and disease so that believers could  have physical healing by those stripes on his flayed flesh. Prv. 20:30, "Blows and wounds cleanse away evil and stripes scour evil which reaches the innermost parts."
When He hung on the cross and cried out, "My God," He did not use the word, Father, because He was now separated from the Father. He was taking on the sins of the world into His own sinless spirit.
When He cried out, "I thirst," doubtless He was suffering the body's pangs for physical water, but even more so the spirit's thirst for the Source of Living Water from which He had been cut off, so that by that sacrifice, we can have living water in our inmost being for the purpose of refreshing others.
When He refused the sour wine, He was fulfilling His own prophecy, "I will drink wine no more until I drink it new with you in the Kingdom." This is the promise of the best wine at the wedding feast of the Lamb and His bride.
On the cross, Jesus also suffered actual mental torment from Satan. He suffered in our place!
I have met Patricia Parks of Harrison Arkansas and found her vision of Christ's suffering to be scripturally accurate. She was walking in a beautiful valley surrounded by high mountains. She noticed the clouds changing shape, taking on the appearance of ferocious beasts—a lion, a big cat, a bull, or a bear.
In Patricia’s vision, the cloud beasts looked as if they were going to attack Jesus; however, she saw they were made only of mist.
She heard the Lord say, “The beasts were satanic illusions. If I had believed satan’s lies while I was on the cross, I would have been defeated, instead of victorious.” She wrote down the following words which He spoke to her spirit:
My people have forgotten what I did for them on Calvary. I have a victorious people, but they do not live it. Nor do their countenances show it. It grieves my heart that they do not realize what I did for them. My people are a victorious people and they know it not. You are already victorious, and you do not even know it. I have already wrought the victory for you  (I Cor. 15: 57).

Let the reader note: I do not give serious credence to any claim that a message is directly from the Lord, until I find scriptural support. The spirits of the prophets are subject to the prophets and must be judged by scripture. In the gospels, there are no threatening cloud beasts described surrounding the cross. However, I asked the Lord to show me the truth, because the vision rang true in my spirit.
A few days later, I read a prophetic description of Christ’s death on the cross, written by King David some 700 years before it came to pass. David described beasts, strong bulls of Bashan besetting around and gaping upon the Lord as a ravening and roaring lion (Psa. 22:13).
This passage confirms exactly what Patricia saw in her vision.
Perhaps we will never fully understand what horrors our Lord endured as He hung on that cross, however I see His struggle in an entirely new dimension.
Our redemption is threefold. He suffered in body, soul, and spirit, in order to redeem the complete triune nature of man I Thess. 5:23.
We need only to believe we receive.

It is not a lack of faith to go to a doctor. Jesus said the sick need a physician. Mark 2: 17.
He is also the Great Physician, our Passover Lamb, and He came to redeem us spirit, soul, and body, from sin and sin's illnesses.

Some Foundational truths about healing from the Lord, which the Lord impresses on my heart:

1. Healing is provided in the Atonement, which includes healing for all three parts of man--spirit, soul, and body. Psa. 103: 1-5; Matt. 8: 16-17; Isa. 53:5, I Pet. 2:24. (See page three.)

2. Healing is always God's will in the New Testament. We are under a new and better covenant. We do not need to beg God to heal us. Although we often do and it's not necessarily wrong, just wrong theology. Thank God He doesn't require perfect theology. Heb. 8:13.
Luke 5:13; Acts 10: 38; John 8: 28

3. Healing can be limited by unbelief: Never tell someone they don't have enough faith. Honest doubt is not the same as unbelief, which appears to be a choice in the face of Jesus' miracles. The scribes said He cast out demons by the prince of demons' power. That's unbelief.
Mark 6: 5; Matt.13: 58

4. Healing, like salvation, is NOT automatic. Both are God's will, and both must be received.
John 1:12; Rom. 10: 8-10.

5. When healing does not come immediately, one possible reason is that God is allowing the seed to take root so the healing cannot be stolen by the fowls of the air. A longtime sick person often  needs the renewing of his mind so that when symptoms try to reappear, he can resist and command them to leave. Mark 4: 4.

6. In the New Testament, healing comes by a prayer of commanding authority, based on the authority Christ gave to believers, Mark 16:17. Jesus commanded. Rise and be healed. Stretch forth your hand. Little Girl arise. Lazarus come forth. The apostles imitated his commanding prayers by faith in His Name throughout the New Testament. "In the name of Jesus Christ rise up and walk!" Acts 3: 6.
This is in stark contrast to Moses, who prayed, "Heal her O God." Moses did not have the authority to command Marian's leprosy to go. That authority is given to the believers after Christ's resurrection.

7. Healing does not have to be earned. Like salvation, none of us can qualify with our own righteousness. We come to the Savior who qualifies us.

WHY does everyone not get healed? There are factors that block the blessing:

1. Unforgiveness in a  person's heart can block the blessing. Mark 11: 23-25; James 5: 16; Psa. 66:18;

2. Healing can be blocked at times because demonic oppression is not addressed. Luke 13: 11-16.

3.  Faith does not trump stupidity. If you habitually abuse, neglect, or violate the natural laws of good hygiene, nutrition, etc. you will likely reap natural consequences. Ex. 23: 25.

4. Fear and anxiety can be sources of illness. Prv. 3: 5-8.

5. Past disappointments that undermine faith in the present can block the blessing: Mark 5:26; John 5: 5-7.  This requires a renewal of the mind, seeing yourself well, planning for a long life (Psalm 91: 16) regardless of what the doctors say.

6. Unbiblical conclusions can block the blessing. Blaming God for what the devil does, the thief who comes to steal, kill, and destroy. Jesus came that we might have life and that more abundantly. Matt. 12:27. Also the whatever-will-be, if-it's-God's-will passive attitude, which is spiritual laziness.

7. Eating and drinking unworthily without recognizing what Jesus accomplished on Calvary can cause people to grow sick and die before their time. I Cor. 11: 29-30. Obviously, if they are not taught to expect redemption from sickness, they will not receive it. How can they believe is they are not hearing. Faith comes by hearing and hearing by the Word of God.

8. Sometimes, a believer just gets tired and wants to go home to be with the Lord. Phil. 1:23.16.

9. There is also a time when physical death may be a rescue from things to come. Isa. 57:1; Psa. 37:37.

10. Wrong speaking, or agreeing with negative reports, can squelch faith. Let the redeemed of the Lord say so. Example: "Yes, doctors diagnosed this condition, but God's Word says by His stripes I was healed. I am redeemed from the curse of the law of sin and death. I believe I receive my healing and resist lying symptoms." There are countless testimonies of victories of illness, simply by the person speaking God's word over their bodies and refusing to agree with any other report. Let God's Word be true and every man a liar. Rom. 3: 4.

11. Failure to act on God's word. If the lame man did not obey the Lord's words to get up and walk, he would not have received. If we truly believe we receive when we pray for healing, we need to act on that. I'm not saying quit taking meds or stop using common sense. See yourself well and began to act and plan for wellness. Dodie Osteen got up, dressed and went about her normal activities, even though her body was weak and in pain from cancer. Within a few days, all symptoms left. 

12. Some people are just too spiritually lazy to SEEK God for their healing and learn how to fight a good fight of faith. Even though we have a promise that those who seek Him with the whole heart will find, lazy people want the doctors to do it, want others to pray the prayer of faith, and would rather watch TV than turn the pages of the Bible. Jer. 29:13; Matt. 7:7; John 4: 23-24.

Let all who seek Him rejoice and be glad! Psa. 40:16.

A good fight of faith is when you get hold of God's word, you align yourself with it, and you do not let go, even if it means lying on your belly and reading all the healing scriptures aloud to God throughout the night and longer--however long it takes. (Two years in my case before the symptoms left completely and stopped returning). You are not trying to change God's mind. You are changing your own mental image of self from one of illness to health. Gen. 2:19 credits evil people with achieving whatever enters their imagination. If they can do it, how much more can God's people have victory by aligning their imagination with His Word?! You are also resisting the devil. He may not flee at once, but he will flee. And he always returns to steal the Word, so the good fight continues even after the healing.
A good fight is one you can win. Arm yourself with the sword of the Spirit (the Word). It will put the devil on the run.

Friday, March 25, 2016

The First Easter Happened Long Before Calvary

The First Easter
Happened Long
Before the Cross

Have you ever considered the first Easter celebration actually happened long before Calvary? When the Hebrews sacrificed a lamb and put its blood on the doors of their houses in Egypt, they were acting out a dress rehearsal for Calvary. They simply trusted in the lamb's blood and the angel of Death passed over them. This literal metaphor pointed to the shed blood of the Perfect Lamb of God which washes away the sins of the world on the cross.

The Hebrews have eaten their Passover lamb every year since that historic day. When Jesus said to His followers in John Chapter Six that they must eat His flesh and drink His blood, He was in effect saying to the Jews, "I AM your Passover Lamb." They didn't understand and most turned away, saying this teaching was too hard.

Jesus explained that metaphor to the apostles, saying "the flesh profits nothing." You don't eat flesh to have spiritual life. The manna which the Hebrews ate sustained only their fleshly bodies, which eventually died. "I am the true Bread from Heaven and My words are Spirit and life," John 6:63. "I am the Word made flesh.Whoever eats this bread (my words) will nourish the spirit, which leads to eternal life."

When we celebrate the Lord's supper by eating a wafer and drinking the juice, we are not taking eternal life into our fleshly bodies. We are "doing this in remembrance" of our Lord's body and blood which was shed to take away our sin. By trusting in that blood of the Perfect Lamb, we know that the angel of death must pass over us, just as he passed over the Hebrews on the First Passover.