Unseen Spiritual Realm Part One

By Vince Finnegan

Behind The Scenes

Living in our modern world, we hold tainted filters based upon presumptions, religious traditions and rationalism that cloud our vision. Presumptions are notions or concepts taken as truth and often used as the basis for other ideas, although they are not known for certain to be true. Rationalism is the belief or theory that opinions and actions should be based on reason and knowledge rather than on God and His immutable Word.

The first three chapters of the Bible reveal the spiritual realm and its impact on humanity. God, those with Him during creation, the serpent, and cherubim are all part of the unseen, spiritual realm.

Genesis 1:26   Then God said, "Let Us make man in Our image, according to Our likeness…

The words “us” and “our” indicate that there were others with Yahweh when He created the world and humanity. The book of Job clarifies.

Job 38:4-7   "Where were you [Job] when I [Yahweh] laid the foundation of the earth? Tell Me, if you have understanding,

 5 Who set its measurements? Since you know. Or who stretched the line on it?

 6 "On what were its bases sunk? Or who laid its cornerstone,

 7 When the morning stars sang together and all the sons of God shouted for joy?

In this context of the book of Job, “morning stars” and “sons of God” are not human beings, rather spiritual beings. Yahweh, the sons of God, the serpent and cherubim are all spiritual beings. The Scriptures reveal two unseen spiritual and opposing hierarchies. By hierarchy, I mean a ruling system or organization consisting of spiritual beings ranked one above the other according to status and authority. Within both hierarchy households, there exists a diversity of responsibilities and or jurisdictions.

Revelation 4:1-11; 5:11; 7:11; 11:16 ─ Twenty-four elders around God’s throne

Crown is circular ornamental headdress worn by a monarch as a symbol of authority usually made of or decorated with precious metals and jewels.

Throne is a chair of state, commonly a royal seat, but sometimes the seat of a prince, bishop, or other high dignitary. It represents sovereign power and dignity.

White garments are spoken of often in the book of Revelation and signify righteousness, purity, and holiness.

Elders are persons who take part in the management of public affairs.

Numbers 11:16   Yahweh therefore said to Moses, "Gather for Me seventy men from the elders of Israel, whom you know to be the elders of the people and their officers and bring them to the tent of meeting, and let them take their stand there with you.

Exodus 24:1   Then He said to Moses, "Come up to Yahweh, you and Aaron, Nadab and Abihu and seventy of the elders of Israel, and you shall worship at a distance.

Matthew 26:3-4   Then the chief priests and the elders of the people were gathered together in the court of the high priest, named Caiaphas;

and they plotted together to seize Jesus by stealth and kill Him.

Acts 14:23   When they had appointed elders for them in every church, having prayed with fasting, they commended them to the Lord in whom they had believed.

Acts 15:6-7   The apostles and the elders came together to look into this matter.

After there had been much debate, Peter stood up and said to them….

DIVINE COUNCIL

Psalm 82:1   The word “Elohim” occurs 2,250 times, and most often refers to Yahweh, but not exclusively. Judges, Moses, Samuel, angels, unholy gods, demons also are associated to elohim.

NAU  Psalm 82:1   God [Elohim] takes His stand in His own congregation; He judges in the midst of the rulers [elohim].

ESV  Psalm 82:1    God has taken his place in the divine council; in the midst of the gods he holds judgment:

KJV  Psalm 82:1    God standeth in the congregation of the mighty; he judgeth among the gods.

Due to the Hebrew grammar, the second use of “elohim” needs to be translated plural. We have English words that are used as both singular and plural, like “sheep”. The first “elohim” must be singular, since the Hebrew grammar has the word as the subject of a singular verbal form (stands). The second “elohim” must be plural, since the preposition in front of it (in the midst of) requires more than one. You cannot be in the midst of one. The word “congregation” also demands more than one.

Psalm 82:6   The spiritual beings are called sons of God (Job 38:1-7; 1:6; 2:1; Genesis 6:1-4; Daniel 3:25, 28).

Psalms 89:5-9   Sons of the mighty one; Hebrew El

Ephesians 3:14-15   For this reason I bow my knees before the Father, from whom every family in heaven and on earth derives its name. (Ephesians 1:10)

Psalm 8:4-5 – Hebrews 2:5-8 angels are also called elohim.

Deuteronomy 10:17; Psalm 136:1-3   When referring to Yahweh, “Elohim” means the sovereign almighty God, overall. When elohim relates to humans and spirit beings, it also refers to sovereignty, but of a lesser degree than Yahweh, one who manages the affairs of others. Yahweh is an Elohim, but no other elohim is Yahweh. Elohim are part of the heavenly host, the divine council. One poplar title for Yahweh (229 times) is Yahweh of hosts.

1 Kings 22:19-23   The divine counsel does more than worship; they have responsibility over the affairs of humanity.

Exodus 20:3-4   There are evil elohim. Two separate, but related, commandments refer to gods and idols. Idol worshippers believed that the objects they made were inhabited by their gods.

Deuteronomy 32:17; Psalm 106:37   Some elohim are demons.

1 Corinthians 10:19-22

1 Corinthians 8:4-6   A number of verses seem to say that there are no other gods; yet, we have indeed seen there are according to many Scriptures. These denial statements do not deny that other elohim exist. Rather, they deny that any elohim compares to Yahweh. They are statements of incomparability.

Daniel 10:12ff illustrate the spiritual conflict that exists.

Hebrews 1:3ff   Jesus is the elohim above all the angels now. Before his resurrection, he was like everyone else with the angels above him, but now he is over all except Yahweh.

Elohim is also used for false gods:

Now I know that the LORD [Yahweh] is greater than all the gods [elohim]; indeed, it was proven when they dealt proudly against the people. (Exo 18:11 NAU)

Do you not possess what Chemosh your god [elohim] gives you to possess? So whatever Yahweh our God [Elohim] has driven out before us, we will possess it. Judges 11:24

When the men of Ashdod saw that it was so, they said, "The ark of the God [Elohim] of Israel must not remain with us, for His hand is severe on us and on Dagon our god [elohim]." (1Samuel 5:7)

So, Elijah said to the prophets of Baal, "Choose one ox for yourselves and prepare it first for you are many, and call on the name of your god [elohim], but put no fire under it." 1 Kings 18:25

To help build our awareness and faith regarding Supernatural Christianity, suggested verses of Scripture are offered to memorize each week:

Deuteronomy 10:17   "For Yahweh your God is the God of gods and the Lord of lords, the great, the mighty, and the awesome God who does not show partiality nor take a bribe.  

Expect The Supernatural

We want to eliminate the tainted filters based upon presumptions, religious traditions, and rationalism. Presumption is holding ideas that something is true without biblical support. Rationalism is truth based upon human reason and knowledge rather than God’s immutable Word. The world view is: “If I see it, I will believe it”; the spiritual view is: “If I believe it, I will see it.”

This session we will acknowledge the supernatural we have already experienced because of our belief in our Lord Jesus Christ.

John 8:31, 32, and 36   So Jesus was saying to those Jews who had believed Him, "If you continue in My word, then you are truly disciples of Mine; and you will know the truth, and the truth will make you free."

36 "So if the Son makes you free, you will be free indeed.

When the lies we believe are replaced with truth, we enjoy freedom. As a disciple of Jesus Christ, we have been set free in a supernatural way.

2 Corinthians 5:17 - Christians experience many supernatural changes with the new creation.

1 Corinthians 2:12-16 - Reading the Scriptures with understanding is a supernatural encounter with God.

Philippians 4:6-7 - The peace that replaces anxiety when we pray is supernatural.

Philippians 4:8-9 - The renewed mind is also due to His supernatural intervention.

When a crazy thought enters your mind tempting you to sin and you ask God for help and replace the thought with the truth in the Scriptures, you experience God’s supernatural intervention.   

1 John 1:9 - Receiving forgiveness and giving forgiveness are supernatural. Have you realized God’s forgiveness? Has God given you the ability to forgive others and not hold resentments? Do you now have the ability and desire to love others like Christ loved you? If your answer is yes to these questions, you have experienced the supernatural many times over.

Jesus ALWAYS did God’s will; therefore, everything he did and everything he said were according to God’s will.

Luke 4:18-19   "the spirit of the Lord [Yahweh] is upon me [Jesus], because He [God] anointed me [Jesus] to preach the gospel to the poor. He [God] has sent me [Jesus] to proclaim release to the captives, and recovery of sight to the blind, to set free those who are oppressed, to proclaim the favorable year of the Lord [Yahweh]."

The four Gospels categorically declare that Jesus did exactly what God wanted. He healed thousands afflicted with sickness, diseases, pains, and demons. Innumerable miracles, signs, and wonders were part of his ministry as he taught and preached the Kingdom of God. He commissioned the 12 apostles and 70 disciples to do likewise (which is set forth in Matthew 10 and Luke 10). Supernatural power was commonplace and drew multitudes to believe in him and glorify God. Did the supernatural cease after his ascension into heaven? Not according to the book of Acts. Consider the faith and expectations in their prayer:

Acts 4:29-31 - God answered their prayer. In Acts 5, many signs and wonders were taking place. The supernatural was so powerful the sick were carried into the streets so that at least the shadow of Peter might fall on them and they could be healed. The sick and those afflicted with unclean spirits were all being healed. In Acts 6, the disciple Stephen was performing great wonders and signs among the people. Acts 8 reveals that the whole city of Samaria was rejoicing because Phillip cast out unclean spirits from many, and many who were paralyzed and lame were healed. In Acts 15, Paul and Barnabas tell of the signs and wonders God did among the Gentiles. In Acts 16, Paul casts out a demon and is miraculously freed from prison.

1 Corinthians 2:4-5   and my message and my preaching were not in persuasive words of wisdom, but in demonstration of the Spirit and of power, so that your faith would not rest on the wisdom of men, but on the power of God.

Hebrews 2:3-4   how will we escape if we neglect so great a salvation? After it was at the first spoken through the Lord, it was confirmed to us by those who heard,

God also testifying with them, both by signs and wonders and by various miracles and by gifts of the Holy Spirit according to His own will.

Christianity has its roots in the supernatural! In our class, we want to build understanding and expectations to again regularly experience the supernatural.

Expect miracles every day.

Expect miracles when you pray.

When you expect them, God has got the way

To perform miracles for you each day.

The verse to remember is:

Luke 4:18-19   "the spirit of the Lord [Yahweh] is upon me [Jesus], because He [God] anointed me [Jesus] to preach the gospel to the poor. He [God] has sent me [Jesus] to proclaim release to the captives, and recovery of sight to the blind, to set free those who are oppressed, to proclaim the favorable year of the Lord [Yahweh]."

*******

The following article form Glad tidings relates to the above subject:

 SUPERNATURAL CHRISTIANITY?

John 8:31, 32, and 36   So Jesus was saying to those Jews who had believed Him, "If you continue in My word, then you are truly disciples of Mine; and you will know the truth, and the truth will make you free."

"So, if the Son makes you free, you will be free indeed.

If you have accepted the Lordship of Jesus Christ, as his disciple, you have been set free in a supernatural way, and thereby, you are a new creation in him.

2 Corinthians 5:17   Therefore if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creature [creation]; the old things passed away; behold, new things have come.

Christians experience many supernatural changes with the new creation. We become more God centered and less self-centered; our morals radically change as do our motives, desires, purposes, and hope. As we move from darkness to light, we are not perfect, but a whole lot better for we indeed experienced the supernatural.

When we read the Scriptures, we may not understand every little detail, but we do comprehend the overall concepts because the spirit helps us.

2 Corinthians 2:12-16   Now we have received, not the spirit of the world, but the spirit who is from God, so that we may know the things freely given to us by God,

which things we also speak, not in words taught by human wisdom, but in those taught by the spirit, combining spiritual thoughts with spiritual words.

But a natural man [those without God’s spirit] does not accept the things of the Spirit of God, for they are foolishness to him; and he cannot understand them, because they are spiritually appraised.

Although we may do not always acknowledge it, every time we comprehend, we experience the supernatural. Likewise, when our prayers are answered, we experience it.

Philippians 4:6-7   Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all comprehension, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.

The peace that replaces anxiety when we pray is supernatural. The renewed mind is also due to His supernatural intervention.

Philippians 4:8-9   Finally, brethren, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is of good repute, if there is any excellence and if anything worthy of praise, dwell on these things.

The things you have learned and received and heard and seen in me, practice these things, and the God of peace will be with you.

Have you realized God’s forgiveness? Has God given you the ability to forgive others and not hold resentments? Do you now have the ability and desire to love others like Christ loved you? If your answer is “yes” to these questions, you have experienced the supernatural many times over. If you cannot relate to what has thus far been written, do not fret; rather, reconsider John 8, the first verses written in this article, and make the necessary changes to become Jesus’ disciple.  If you can relate, perhaps the following will encourage you to seek after more of the supernatural.

Jesus ALWAYS did God’s will; therefore, everything he did and everything he said were according to God’s will. When we read the Gospels, we gain a much deeper understanding about our Lord and also about our God. Jesus declared what God sent him to do by quoting from the Prophet Isaiah. God wanted the supernatural to be part of His salvation for humanity.

Luke 4:18-19   "the spirit of the Lord [Yahweh] is upon me [Jesus], because He [God] anointed me [Jesus] to preach the gospel to the poor. He [God] has sent me [Jesus] to proclaim release to the captives, and recovery of sight to the blind, to set free those who are oppressed, to proclaim the favorable year of the Lord [Yahweh]."

The four Gospels categorically declare that Jesus did exactly what God wanted. He healed thousands afflicted with sickness, diseases, pains, and demons. Innumerable miracles, signs, and wonders were part of his ministry as he taught and preached the Kingdom of God. He commissioned the 12 apostles and 70 disciples to do likewise (as is set forth in Matthew 10 and Luke 10). Supernatural power was commonplace and drew multitudes to believe in him and glorify God. Did the supernatural cease after his ascension into heaven? Not according to the book of Acts. Consider the faith and expectations in their prayer:

Acts 4:29-31   "And now, Lord [Yahweh], take note of their threats, and grant that Your bond-servants may speak Your word with all confidence,

while You extend Your hand to heal, and signs and wonders take place through the name of Your holy servant Jesus."

And when they had prayed, the place where they had gathered together was shaken, and they were all filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak the word of God with boldness.

The book of Acts reveals that God answered their prayer. In Acts 5, many signs and wonders were taking place. The supernatural was so powerful the sick were carried into the streets so that at least the shadow of Peter might fall on them so they could be healed. The sick and those afflicted with unclean spirits were all being healed. In Acts 6, the disciple Stephen was performing great wonders and signs among the people. Acts 8 reveals that the whole city of Samaria was rejoicing because Phillip cast out unclean spirits from many, and many who were paralyzed and lame were healed.

In Acts 15, Paul and Barnabas tell of the signs and wonders God did among the Gentiles. Paul tells the Corinthians his common mode of operation for spreading the Gospel.

1 Corinthians 2:4-5   My message and my preaching were not in persuasive words of wisdom, but in demonstration of the Spirit and of power, so that your faith would not rest on the wisdom of men, but on the power of God.

Our great salvation was first spoken by Jesus our Lord, then by those who heard him, and confirmed by God with signs, wonders, and various miracles.

Hebrews 2:3-4   how will we escape if we neglect so great a salvation? After it was at the first spoken through the Lord, it was confirmed to us by those who heard,

God also testifying with them, both by signs and wonders and by various miracles and by gifts of the Holy Spirit according to His own will.

Christianity has its roots in the supernatural! Disciples of Christ experience the supernatural in all the ways stated earlier, and we should expect more of the same, just as our forefathers did.

Expect miracles every day.

Expect miracles when you pray.

When you expect them, God has got the way

To perform miracles for you each day.

*******

God’s Plan of Redemption (Isaiah 52:13- 53:12)

Isaiah 53 is the great chapter in the OT that foretells God’s plan of redemption and salvation through Jesus Christ. God’s plan for humanity’s redemption through Jesus Christ is foretold. The subject begins in the preceding chapter.

SERVANT SONGS OR PSALMS IN ISAIAH ─ 42:1-7; 49:1-7; 50:4-10; 52:13-53:12, and some include 61:1-3. (See Acts 3:13, 26; 4:27 and 31.)

Isaiah 52:13   Chapter 53 could have started with this verse because it introduces the subject.

Before the servant’s suffering is set forth, his victorious glory is foretold. In 53:10-13, after the sufferings are described, his glory again is stated. This information about his eternal glory must have been vital and encouraging for Jesus to read and believe so that he could endure his suffering and death.

Isaiah 52:14 - “Astonished” means appalled, greatly dismayed, or horrified.  “Marred” means disfigurement of face. His form was so disfigured that he no longer resembled a man.

Isaiah 52:15 - Kings, the most exalted of men, will stand in awe speechless before him. When his suffering and death happened, no one understood what was really happening since God kept it a mystery. After his ascension, believers understand, and in the age to come, everyone will know.

Isaiah 53:1 - Will we believe the great message of salvation? If we believe, the arm of Yahweh will be revealed to us.

Isaiah 53:2   Jesus did not dress like a prince or king; rather, he looked like a regular guy.

Isaiah 53:3 - The Hebrew word for “sorrows” is also translated pain (2 Chronicles 6:29; Job 33:19, and Psalm 69:26 …). The Hebrew word that is translated “grief” in verses 3 and 4 occurs 24 times and only here as “grief”. Everywhere else it is “sickness” (15), “sick” (1), “illness” (3), “disease” (2), and “affliction” (1). Our understanding of the word “grief” is much different than sickness or illness. Translating it as “grief” misleads us from understanding something of great importance.

Isaiah 53:4   Again, the word “grief” could have been translated “sickness,” and the word “sorrows” as “pain”. The people concluded that Jesus deserved the torture and crucifixion as God’s punishment for his sin. They were terribly wrong for he suffered for their sins and ours.

The following acknowledges the changes mentioned above.

3 He was despised and forsaken of men, a man of pain and acquainted with sickness; and like one from whom men hide their face He was despised, and we [humanity] did not esteem Him.

4 Surely our sickness He Himself bore, and our pain He carried; yet we ourselves esteemed [thought] Him stricken, smitten of God, and afflicted.

5 But He was pierced through for our transgressions, He was crushed for our iniquities; The chastening for our well-being [shalom] fell upon Him, and by His scourging we are healed.  (Isaiah 53:3-5)

The Hebrew word “shalom” was translated above “well-being” and most often is rendered as “peace.” However, “shalom” has a fuller meaning than just peace. It is an overall sense of fulness, wholeness, soundness, completeness, and health in mind, body, and estate. Isaiah 45:7; 48:18; 54:13 ─ “well-being”; Genesis 15:15 ─ “peace”; 28:2 ─ “safety”; 29:6 ─ “it is well”; 37:4 ─ “friendly terms”; 37:14 ─ “welfare”; 41:16 ─ “favorable”; 43:23 ─ “be at ease”; and 43:28 ─ “well”

The subtle differences in translation have caused many to miss an important part of our atonement, our salvation. These verses reveal two very important accomplishments from Jesus’ substitutionary sacrifice. He bore our sickness and pain (vs. 3 and 4) and our transgression and iniquities (vs. 5). He endured what was necessary for our physical and spiritual well-being, our completeness. By his scourging, we are healed.

The New Testament clearly confirms that Jesus was the sacrifice for our sins and that through him we are now redeemed, forgiven, righteous, justified, and sanctified. The New Testament Scriptures also clearly support the inclusion of physical healing as part of our atonement, our salvation.

Matthew 8:16-17 - The context is unquestionably physical healing and is a quotation from Isaiah 53:4.

1 Peter 2:24 - Not a direct quote, but an illusion to the Isaiah 53 section

The Greek word “sozo” is most often translated “saved” and considered to refer to spiritual salvation, the new birth, eternal life, but like the word “shalom”, it has a fuller meaning that includes physical healing and deliverance. The earthly experience of salvation that includes deliverance and healing is how the Greek word for salvation is most often used in the NT. “Sozo” means much more than going into the Kingdom. It means and is sometimes translated as healed, cured, delivered, set free, made whole, preserved, and many similar words.

Healing from sickness and disease plus deliverance from demons is part of what Jesus accomplished on the cross and, therefore, our salvation. The confidence we hold regarding our spiritual redemption should be matched when dealing with physical healing and demon deliverance. Will we believe this message?

Isaiah 53:10   But Yahweh was pleased to crush Him [Jesus], putting Him to grief [sickness]; If He would render Himself as a guilt offering, He will see His offspring, He will prolong His days, and the good pleasure of Yahweh will prosper in His hand.

Isaiah 53:1   Who has believed our message? And to whom has the arm of the LORD [Yahweh] been revealed?

Memory verses: Isaiah 53:3-5:

3 He was despised and forsaken of men, a man of pain and acquainted with sickness; and like one from whom men hide their face He was despised, and we [humanity] did not esteem Him.

 4 Surely our sickness He Himself bore, and our pain He carried; yet we ourselves esteemed [thought] Him stricken, smitten of God, and afflicted.

 5 But He was pierced through for our transgressions, He was crushed for our iniquities; The chastening for our well-being [shalom] fell upon Him, and by His scourging we are healed.  (Isaiah 53:3-5)

*******

The following article from Glad tidings relates to the above subject:

HEALING IS AN ASPECT OF SALVATION

Isaiah 53 is the great chapter in the OT that foretells God’s plan of salvation through Jesus Christ. Former prophecies of the Messiah and the message of salvation were presented in veiled form. But here, for the first time, it is set forth with magnificent clarity. The prophecy was written in the past tense as if it had already happened 700 years before the birth of Jesus. The crux of the revelation is that the sinless Messiah is the sacrificial offering as the substitutionary payment for the sins of all humanity, thereby providing atonement (reconciliation) with God for all those who believe. Simply stated, God’s plan for humanity’s redemption through Jesus Christ is foretold. The subject begins in the preceding chapter.

Isaiah 52:10   The LORD [Yahweh] has bared His holy arm In the sight of all the nations, that all the ends of the earth may see the salvation of our God.

Isaiah presents four sections called servant songs or servant psalms that speak about Jesus[1]. The fourth one begins in this chapter with verse 13. Chapter 54 could have started with this verse because it introduces the subject.

Isaiah 52:13   Behold, My servant [Jesus] will prosper [act wisely, see ESV], He will be high and lifted up and greatly exalted.

Jesus will act wisely and ultimately be lifted up and greatly exalted. So, before the servant’s suffering is set forth, his victorious glory is foretold. In chapter 53:10, after the sufferings are described, his glory again is stated. He will successfully complete the mission, and utter exaltation will come to him. This information about his eternal glory must have been vital and encouraging for Jesus to read and believe so that he could endure his suffering and death.

Uncharacteristically in the Scriptures, Jesus’ appearance is stated twice--first, during his torture, recorded in 52:14-15, and second before his suffering in 53:2.

Isaiah 52:14   Just as many were astonished at you, My people, so His appearance was marred more than any man and His form more than the sons of men.

His form was so disfigured that he no longer resembled a man. The next verse again foretells Jesus’ glory that will ultimately come after completing his mission.

Isaiah 52:15   Thus He will sprinkle many nations, Kings will shut their mouths on account of Him; for what had not been told them they will see, and what they had not heard they will understand.

Kings, the most exalted of men, will stand in awe speechless before him. When his suffering and death happened, no one understood what was really happening since God kept it a mystery. After his ascension, believers understand, and in the age to come, everyone will know.

Isaiah 53:1   Who has believed our message? And to whom has the arm of the LORD [Yahweh] been revealed?

Will we believe the great message of salvation? If we believe, the arm of Yahweh will be revealed to us. Following is the second description of Jesus, this one before his suffering during his early ministry.

Isaiah 53:2   For He [Jesus] grew up before Him [God] like a tender shoot, and like a root out of parched ground; He has no stately form or majesty that we should look upon Him, nor appearance that we should be attracted to Him.

Jesus did not dress like a prince or king; rather, he looked like a regular guy.

Isaiah 53:3   He was despised and forsaken of men, a man of sorrows and acquainted with grief; and like one from whom men hide their faces, He was despised, and we did not esteem Him.

The Hebrew word for “sorrows” is also translated “pain” (2 Chronicles 6:29; Job 33:19, and Psalm 69:26 …). The Hebrew word that is translated “grief” in verses 3 and 4 occurs 24 times and only here as “grief”. Everywhere else, it is “sickness” (15), “illness” (3), “disease” (1), and “affliction” (1).[2] Our understanding of the word “grief” is much different than sickness or illness. Translating it as “grief” misleads us from understanding something of great importance.

Jesus (the sinless, righteous, and loving one) in the days of his suffering was despised and forsaken by humanity. He was so marred people could not look at him. With the abundance of truth, he taught and the thousands of people he healed, he should have been highly esteemed, but he was not.

Isaiah 53:4   Surely our griefs [sickness] He Himself bore, and our sorrows [pain] He carried; Yet we ourselves esteemed Him stricken, Smitten of God, and afflicted.

Again, the word “grief” could have been translated “sickness,” and the word “sorrows” as “pain”. The people concluded that Jesus deserved the torture and crucifixion as God’s punishment for his sin. They were terribly wrong, for he suffered for their sins and ours.

Isaiah 53:5   But He was pierced through for our transgressions, He was crushed for our iniquities; the chastening for our well-being fell upon Him, and by His scourging we are healed.

The following acknowledges the changes mentioned above.

3 He was despised and forsaken of men, a man of pain and acquainted with sickness; and like one from whom men hide their face He was despised, and we [humanity] did not esteem Him.

4 Surely our sickness He Himself bore, and our pain He carried; yet we ourselves esteemed [thought] Him stricken, smitten of God, and afflicted.

5 But He was pierced through for our transgressions, He was crushed for our iniquities; The chastening for our well-being [shalom] fell upon Him, and by His scourging we are healed.  (Isaiah 53:3-5)

The Hebrew word “shalom” was translated above “well-being” and most often is rendered as “peace”. However, “shalom” has a fuller meaning than just peace. It is an overall sense of fulness, soundness, and completeness in mind, body, and estate.

The subtle differences in translation have caused many to miss an important part of our atonement, our salvation. These verses reveal two very important accomplishments from Jesus’ substitutionary sacrifice. He bore our sickness and pain (vs. 3 and 4) and our transgression and iniquities (vs. 5). He endured what was necessary for our physical and spiritual well-being, our completeness. By his scourging, we are healed.

The New Testament clearly confirms that Jesus was the sacrifice for our sins and that through him, we are now redeemed, forgiven, righteous, justified, and sanctified. The New Testament Scriptures also clearly support the inclusion of physical healing as part of our atonement, our salvation.

After Jesus healed Peter’s mother-in-law, the following happened.

Matthew 8:16-17   When evening came, they brought to Him many who were demon-possessed; and He cast out the spirits with a word, and healed all who were ill.

This was to fulfill what was spoken through Isaiah the prophet: "HE HIMSELF TOOK OUR INFIRMITIES AND CARRIED AWAY OUR DISEASES."

The context is unquestionably physical healing and is a quotation is from Isaiah 53:4. We have already acknowledged that this verse is accurately understood as follows: Surely our sickness He Himself bore, and our pain He carried; yet we ourselves esteemed [thought] Him stricken, smitten of God, and afflicted. Healing and deliverance are indeed included in our atonement and salvation.

The book of Peter connects another verse with Isaiah 53.

1 Peter 2:24   He Himself bore our sins in His body on the cross, so that we might die to sin and live to righteousness; for by His wounds you were healed.

The Greek word “sozo” is most often translated “saved” and considered to refer to spiritual salvation, the new birth, eternal life, but like the word “shalom,” it has a fuller meaning that includes physical healing and deliverance. The earthly experience of salvation that includes deliverance and healing is how the Greek word for salvation is most often used in the NT. “Sozo” means much more than going into the Kingdom. It means and is sometimes translated as healed, cured, delivered, set free, made whole, preserved, and many similar words.

Isaiah 53:1 - Healing from sickness and disease plus deliverance from demons is part of what Jesus accomplished on the cross and, therefore, our salvation. The confidence we hold regarding our spiritual redemption should be matched when dealing with physical healing and demon deliverance. Will we believe this message?

*******

Jesus’ Ministry 

Luke 4:18-19   "THE SPIRIT OF THE LORD IS UPON ME, BECAUSE HE ANOINTED ME TO PREACH THE GOSPEL TO THE POOR. HE HAS SENT ME TO PROCLAIM RELEASE TO THE CAPTIVES, AND RECOVERY OF SIGHT TO THE BLIND, TO SET FREE THOSE WHO ARE OPPRESSED,

TO PROCLAIM THE FAVORABLE YEAR OF THE LORD."

  1. To preach the gospel to the poor
  2. To release the captives
  3. Recovery of sight to the blind                                                                                   
  4. To set free those who are oppressed
  5. To proclaim the favorable year of Yahweh

TO PREACH THE GOSPEL TO THE POOR

“Poor” is often referring to those who are humble and meek to receive, spiritual helplessness. Matthew 5:3 - poor in spirit

Matthew 4:23; 9:35   Jesus preached and taught

HE HAS SENT ME:

TO PROCLAIM RELEASE TO THE CAPTIVES 

Colossians 2:8 - wrong doctrine, wrong thinking, leads people captive. We maybe captivated mentally, physically, or spiritually. Ephesians 4:8; Timothy 2:25

RECOVERY OF SIGHT TO THE BLIND 

2 Corinthians 4:3-4 - Jesus’ teaching enlightened the spiritual eyes, and he healed many who were physically blind. Isaiah 35:5-6; Acts 26:15-18

Matthew 15:14   Let them alone; they are blind guides of the blind. And if a blind man guides a blind man, both will fall into a pit.

  1. Mt 9:27-31 Two blind men.
  2. Mk 8:22-26 In Bethsaida by spitting on his eyes.
  3. Mt 12:22-23 Man who was demon possessed, and blind and mute.
  4. Lk 18:35-43 Blind man while coming into Jericho.
  5. Mt 20:29-34 Two blind men when leaving Jericho.
  6. Mk 10:46-52 Bartimaeus
  7. Jn 9:1-41 By putting clay on his eyes, then wash in the Pool of Siloam

Group healings - Mt 15:29-31 and Mt 21:14

TO SET FREE THOSE WHO ARE OPPOSED

Acts 10:38   "You know of Jesus of Nazareth, how God anointed Him with the Holy Spirit and with power, and how He went about doing good and healing all who were oppressed by the devil, for God was with Him. (Acts 10:38)

“Oppressed” means subject to harsh and authoritarian treatment; to keep someone in subservience and hardship, especially by the unjust exercise of authority, to dominate or exploit someone.

TO PROCLAIM THE FAVORABLE YEAR OF THE LORD [YAHWEH]

The favorable or acceptable year of the Lord is not referring to just one year, but rather to the time between Jesus’ first coming and when he comes back. The time of reconciliation is when the ministry of reconciliation is applicable  (2 Corinthians 5:18-21). This ministry began with Christ → apostles →disciples → all who have believed since including us.

Acts 2:22   Men of Israel, listen to these words: Jesus the Nazarene, a man attested [shown forth] to you by God with miracles and wonders and signs which God performed through Him in your midst, just as you yourselves know--

Understanding that Jesus ministered miraculously as a human being is exceedingly important to all those. He commissions us to live like him and to do the works that he did. Without recognition of Christ’s humanity, no one can expect to do the greater works that Christ promised in John 14.

"Truly, truly, 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 the Father. (John 14:12)

God was the one who performed the miracles, wonders, and signs through Jesus. Jesus  was not the initiator or the power source.

Luke 4:18 - The spirit was given because Jesus was chosen by God to do what is stated.

Luke 3:21-23 - Holy spirit descended upon him. (Matthew 3:13; Mark 1:9; John 1:29)   Every gospel has the information about Jesus receiving the holy spirit.

Luke 4:1 - Full of the holy spirit and led around by the spirit

Luke 4:14 - In the power of the spirit

Luke 5:17 - Power of Yahweh was present.

Acts 1:1-2 - After his resurrection, the spirit is still guiding him.

Everything Jesus did was under the direction of Yahweh through the spirit.

Luke 4:18-21 - He believed what the Scriptures said he was and what he would do.

Isaiah 42:1-7; 61:1-3 - God stated clearly what the Messiah would do, and Jesus believed what He read and acted according.

Matthew 10 - Jesus gave authority to the 12 apostles to do exactly what He did.

Luke 10 - He gave authority to the 70, and they too did what they had seen him do.

Acts 1 - He commissioned the church to do what he did, and they walked by the spirit and had faith in his words.

We must see ourselves as an extension of his ministry, guided and empowered the same way he was through the spirit and faith in God’s Words.

The church council meetings of the 4th century decided that Jesus was God and part of the trinity and thereby completely undermined faith that any disciples could hold regarding John 14:12. However, with a clear understanding of who Jesus was and how he functioned by knowing and obeying God’s words plus the holy spirit’s empowerment and direction, we can begin to have faith.

The verse to memorize this week is John 14:12:

"Truly, truly, 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 the Father.

Focus On Jesus

Luke 4:18-19 - Jesus quoted Isaiah 61:1-3. This verse explains how Jesus was able to walk in the supernatural realm and how we can imitate him.

  1. He believed what God said about him (Romans 10:17)
  2. God’s spirit empowered and led him.

John 5:19, 20, 30; 8:28 - When we look at the man, we must believe what he said about himself. He obeyed God’s Word.

John 14:9-12 - He did what he did because of his faith in the Scriptures and the empowerment of the holy spirit. We can do the same.

Matthew 21:18-23; Mark 11:12-15; 19-24 - Christ attributes his capacity to do miracles to faith and tells them explicitly that they can do the very same things if they have faith. Obviously, God’s will was not limited to just helping people. Jesus turned water into wine, walked on water, fed thousands…

Faith is always founded upon God’s Words from the Scriptures or revelation. Jesus did not need specific revelation every time he healed because Isaiah 42:6-7; 61:1-3 declared that this was his ministry.

From a rational point of view, thinking I can walk like Jesus is ridiculous, arrogant, and beyond comprehension. However, such thinking is in direct contradiction to the words of our Lord and our God. The only thing that stands in the way of our faith is doubt that contradicts the will of God.

Focus on Jesus primarily, but not exclusively, will help to build our faith. However, if we continue to view him as the perfect one who stood alone with his own ability, our faith will be diminished, not strengthened. He did what he did because he believed God’s Word and summitted to the holy spirit. We can do the same.

Roger Sapp’s definition of focus:

Our focus is the ongoing object of our thoughts. It is not our thoughts themselves. It is the subject and object of what we find ourselves studying, dwelling on, concentrating upon, and meditating on momentarily or habitually. Our focus is the core, the essence, the spirit, and heart of our thoughts. It is the origination point, the undergirding, the framework, the foundation, and controlling element behind our thoughts.

Romans 8:6   the mind set on the flesh is death, but the mind set on the Spirit is life and peace

Colossians 3:1-2   Therefore if you have been raised up with Christ, keep seeking the things above, where Christ is, seated at the right hand of God.

Set your mind on the things above, not on the things that are on earth.

Matthew 6:20-23 - The eye represents focus. A clear focus results in our bodies being full of light. A bad focus results in our bodies being full of darkness. What we experience inwardly, death or life and peace, is a result of and is controlled by what we focus upon.

Everyone at all times has a focus. This focus may change many times an hour or remain reasonably constant. Our focus may be weak or intense. What determines our feelings, our ongoing inner condition, is our focus. If our focus is good, then our feelings will also be good, and if our focus is bad, so will be our feelings. Situations and circumstances are not the determining factor in our lives, focus is. If we experience fear, anxiety, or other negative feelings, we likely are focusing on the wrong thing.

2 Corinthians 3:18 - As we focus our eyes upon Christ, we are transformed into the same image.

Hebrews 12:1-2 - Christ is worthy of our focus, for he has gone first on this path of walking in the supernatural. No other focus will produce what God wants for us. Jesus focused on the joy set before in that which is written in Isaiah, servant psalms. This focus enabled him to endure the humiliation and suffering of the cross. Proper focus allows the holy spirit to empower us to endure difficult times victoriously and brings us safely to the end of the race.

Because we can focus on only one thing at a time, proper focus is always outward to Christ and is not an appraising, introspective gaze into ourselves. Trying to analyze and appraise ourselves, find and fix problems in ourselves, is a powerless pursuit as it requires us to make ourselves the object of our focus. This self-focus effectively unplugs our new nature from the spirit of Christ and allows the old man to surface and reassert himself.

Christ-centeredness rather than self-centeredness is our aim.

Galatians 6:8   For the one who sows to his own flesh will from the flesh reap corruption, but the one who sows to the Spirit will from the Spirit reap eternal life.

Our focus will be on the example of Christ in the Gospels and the accomplished work of Christ in us presented in the church Epistles.

The verses to contemplate and memorize that provide good focus to build faith regarding the supernatural is: Matthew 21:21-22

21 And Jesus answered and said to them, "Truly I say to you, if you have faith and do not doubt, you will not only do what was done to the fig tree, but even if you say to this mountain, 'Be taken up and cast into the sea,' it will happen.

 22 "And all things you ask in prayer, believing, you will receive."

Our Supernatural Lord 

To focus on Jesus, we must study his supernatural ministry and do so with two views in mind ─ 1. to receive supernatural help and 2. to give supernatural help to others.

Isaiah 53:4 and 5

Surely our griefs [sickness] Jesus Himself bore, and our sorrows [pains] Jesus carried; Yet we ourselves esteemed Jesus stricken, smitten of God, and afflicted. But Jesus was pierced through for our transgressions, Jesus was crushed for our iniquities; the chastening for our well-being [shalom] fell upon Jesus, and by his scourging we are healed.

Jesus’ sacrifice dealt with two distinct aspects for our wholeness ─ 1. sickness and pains and 2. transgressions and iniquities and thereby provided our total well-being [shalom]. “Shalom” includes in its definition wholeness, completeness, soundness, health, safety, prosperity, and therefore peace. “Healed” means to be made well or healthy again.

1 Peter 2:24

He Himself bore our sins in His body on the cross, so that we might die to sin and live to righteousness; for by His wounds, you were healed.

The OT reference for this verse in Isaiah 53 states “are healed”, and Peter says “were healed”. The difference is Peter was written post Christ.

The best way to gain understanding about supernatural Christianity is to study the life of our Lord Jesus who always walked by the spirit. He said, “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 the Father, (John 14:12). He has gone to the Father, he did not lie, nor did he exaggerate, so we can walk as he walked in the supernatural realm.

Matthew 4:23-24   Jesus was going throughout all Galilee, teaching in their synagogues and proclaiming [kerusso] the gospel of the kingdom, and healing every kind of disease and every kind of sickness among the people.

 24 The news about Him spread throughout all Syria; and they brought to Him all who were ill, those suffering with various diseases and pains, demoniacs, epileptics, paralytics; and He healed them.

Teaching provides detailed information to develop right doctrine.  Preaching [kerusso] aligned with doctrine, but was designed to encourage faith and action. The gospel of the Kingdom includes information about King Jesus’ authority and power plus the coming Kingdom. The miracles demonstrated the Kingdom. Most of what he taught related to right behavior to enter the Kingdom.

  • Teaching and preaching preceded the miracles
  • Every kind of disease and sickness, no limitations
  • They came to him obviously with faith that he could heal
  • No requirements for the healing or deliverance other than faith
  • No one was turned away
  • Faith in Jesus as the healer and Messiah was amplified by the miracles

Matthew 8:16-17   When evening came, they brought to Him many who were demon-possessed; and He cast out the spirits with a word, and healed all who were ill.

 17 This was to fulfill what was spoken through Isaiah the prophet: "HE HIMSELF TOOK OUR INFIRMITIES AND CARRIED AWAY OUR DISEASES."  

  • Demonization was considered one of many things that afflicted people (no shock or drama connected with it).
  • Jesus cast out spirits with a word; no big deal
  • He healed all; no one was turned away regardless of their spirituality or morality. No questions asked; if they came to him, he got involved.
  • They came to him indicating they had faith he could heal.
  • Deliverance from demons and illness are part of what is stated in Isaiah 53:4.

Matthew 9:35   Jesus was going through all the cities and villages, teaching in their synagogues and proclaiming the gospel of the kingdom, and healing every kind of disease and every kind of sickness.

  • Jesus had and has the ability to heal every kind of disease and every kind of sickness, whatever is/was wrong, even if seems to be incurable.
  • Matthew 4:23-24 says the same thing. So, in between these two summary statements, he taught The Sermon on The Mount. Basically, he taught stay unentangled from the world, avoid conflicts, live lovingly, trust God, seek His Kingdom, keep your nose out of others’ business…. If we want to live a supernatural life, we must shun the carnal lifestyle.

Some conclude that the healings and miracles were unique to Jesus proving he was the Messiah and therefore we should not expect to do the same. The first conclusion is indeed true with Scriptures supporting it to be so.

John 20:30   Therefore many other signs Jesus also performed in the presence of the disciples, which are not written in this book; But these have been written so that you may believe that Jesus is the Christ, the son of God; and that believing you may have life in His name.

Acts 2:22   Men of Israel, listen to these words: Jesus the Nazarene, a man attested to you by God with miracles and wonders and signs which God performed through Him in your midst, just as you yourselves know

Hebrews 1:3   And He is the radiance of His glory and the exact representation of His nature, and upholds all things by the word of His power. 

However, Scripture disproves the latter conclusion.

John 14:12   Truly, truly, 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 the Father.

Mark 16:17-18   "These signs will accompany those who have believed: in My name they will cast out demons, they will speak with new tongues;  18 they will pick up serpents, and if they drink any deadly poison, it will not hurt them; they will lay hands on the sick, and they will recover”

Jesus is the prototype of walking by the new nature. We are to follow his example, not just morally, but also spiritually.

Matthew 15:30-31   And large crowds came to Him, bringing with them those who were lame, crippled, blind, mute, and many others, and they laid them down at His feet; and He healed them.

So, the crowd marveled as they saw the mute speaking, the crippled restored, and the lame walking, and the blind seeing; and they glorified the God of Israel.

  • Crowds came to him. He was out and about teaching and preaching, but they came to him.
  • God was glorified as a result of these supernatural healings. Jesus was not glorified.
  • Because thousands (4,000 men) came to him, the healings took 3 days. His manner of healing was to lay hands on each one. (Luke 4:40)
  • He had compassion on the people without self-centered concern.
  • Where did the selflessness, strength, endurance, focus, patience come from?

Mark 1:32-34   When evening came, after the sun had set, they began bringing to Him all who were ill and those who were demon-possessed.

And the whole city had gathered at the door.

And He healed many who were ill with various diseases, and cast out many demons; and He was not permitting the demons to speak, because they knew who He was. 

  • This is at Peter’s house. The whole city gathers at his door.
  • When someone was healed, word spread like wildfire because everyone is sick or knows someone who is.
  • The healings were like a calling card, getting people’s attention; they served as an invitation. Discipleship was also needed.
  • He controlled the demons not the other way around. They knew who he was and the power he had.
  • We have absolute authority over demons; they must obey.
  • People came to him. They will also come to us if we have faith.

Mark 3:9-11   And He told His disciples that a boat should stand ready for Him because of the crowd, so that they would not crowd Him;

for He had healed many, with the result that all those who had afflictions pressed around Him in order to touch Him.

Whenever the unclean spirits saw Him, they would fall down before Him and shout, "You are the Son of God!" 

  • Demons knew exactly who he was, and they feared him. If we walk with the same faith, their response will be the same; however, they may try to intimidate us so we fear.
  • Demons never challenge his authority over them. The disciples were surprised when the demons were subject to them, according to Luke 10:17-24.
  • Touching him worked for healing which signifies he did not need specific revelation to heal and that faith alone is required.
  • “Idumea” is the Greek name for Edom, which along with Tyre and Sidon were Gentile nations.
  • He healed many people that had faith.
  • Jesus’ actions inspired by God indicate willingness to help any and all.
  • The selflessness of Jesus is off the charts. Philippians 2:1-20

Mark 6:53-56   When they had crossed over they came to land at Gennesaret, and moored to the shore.

When they got out of the boat, immediately the people recognized Him,

and ran about that whole country and began to carry here and there on their pallets those who were sick, to the place they heard He was.

Wherever He entered villages, or cities, or countryside, they were laying the sick in the market places, and imploring Him that they might just touch the fringe of His cloak; and as many as touched it were being cured.

  • Everywhere he went, people came for healing. He had no free time.
  • Just touching him was enough. People had faith that he was the healer.
  • Jesus did not need special revelation to heal these people. They took their healing from him.
  • Faith built for the whole community because word spread.
  • There were no requirements for the healings other than faith.

Luke 4:40-44   While the sun was setting, all those who had any who were sick with various diseases brought them to Him; and laying His hands on each one of them, He was healing them. 42 When day came, Jesus left and went to a secluded place; and the crowds were searching for Him, and came to Him and tried to keep Him from going away from them.

43 But He said to them, "I must preach the kingdom of God to the other cities also, for I was sent for this purpose."

44 So He kept on preaching in the synagogues of Judea.

  • Remarkably, he laid hands on each person. They each received personal attention. Laying on of hands demonstrates compassion, tenderness, unity, connection, and godly love.
  • He was at it all night again.
  • He had untiring giving of self to love others.

Luke 5:15-16   But the news about Him was spreading even farther, and large crowds were gathering to hear Him and to be healed of their sicknesses.

But Jesus Himself would often slip away to the wilderness and pray.

  • He was a man of great energy
  • God was his refuge, that is a condition of being safe or sheltered from pursuit of danger or trouble. He went to Yahweh for strength and peace and relief.

Luke 6:17-19   Jesus came down with them and stood on a level place; and there was a large crowd of His disciples, and a great throng of people from all Judea and Jerusalem and the coastal region of Tyre and Sidon,

 18 who had come to hear Him and to be healed of their diseases; and those who were troubled with unclean spirits were being cured.

 19 And all the people were trying to touch Him, for power was coming from Him and healing them all.

  • The people came to him, indicating their faith.
  • There is not one single record of Jesus turning anyone away. He healed all.
  • He did not qualify anyone to be healed. The only requirements were you had something wrong with you and faith that Jesus could heal you.

Luke 7:20-22   When the men came to Him, they said, "John the Baptist has sent us to You, to ask, 'Are You the Expected One, or do we look for someone else?'"

At that very time He cured many people of diseases and afflictions and evil spirits; and He gave sight to many who were blind.

And He answered and said to them, "Go and report to John what you have seen and heard: the BLIND RECEIVE SIGHT, the lame walk, the lepers are cleansed, and the deaf hear, the dead are raised up, the POOR HAVE THE GOSPEL PREACHED TO THEM.  

  • The signs and miracles were proof that Jesus was the Christ.
  • John knew the prophecy of Isaiah 61:1-3, and Jesus’ actions confirmed he was the one. The reason part of the verse is all caps is that it is quoted from Isaiah 61.

Luke 9:10-11   When the apostles returned, they gave an account to Him of all that they had done. Taking them with Him, He withdrew by Himself to a city called Bethsaida.

But the crowds were aware of this and followed Him; and welcoming them, He began speaking to them about the kingdom of God and curing those who had need of healing.

  • Our Lord is truly amazing with extraordinary love and commitment. He was totally selfless. How did Jesus do all that he did?

John 5:19 and 30   Therefore Jesus answered and was saying to them, "Truly, truly, I say to you, the Son can do nothing of Himself, unless it is something He sees the Father doing; for whatever the Father does, these things the Son also does in like manner.

30 "I can do nothing on My own initiative. As I hear, I judge; and My judgment is just, because I do not seek My own will, but the will of Him who sent Me.

Jesus did not do it on his own, rather the Father directed and empowered him to do what he did.

Acts 2:22   "Men of Israel, listen to these words: Jesus the Nazarene, a man attested to you by God with miracles and wonders and signs which God performed through Him in your midst, just as you yourselves know.

Acts 4:29-31 - They understood how God worked with Jesus and how He would work with them. Their confidence was not in their own ability, rather in the working of God in and with them.

Acts 5:12-16   They mimicked Jesus. They did what they saw him do repeatedly. They had simple faith.

Acts 6:8; 8:5-7; 10:38; 15:12 - God worked with those who had the faith.

1 Corinthians 2:4-5; 2 Corinthians 12:12; Hebrews 2:3-4 - God has not changed nor has Jesus

The verses to contemplate and memorize that provide good focus to build faith regarding the supernatural are Acts 4:29-31.

29 "And now, Lord, take note of their threats, and grant that Your bond-servants may speak Your word with all confidence,

30 while You extend Your hand to heal, and signs and wonders take place through the name of Your holy servant Jesus."

31 And when they had prayed, the place where they had gathered together was shaken, and they were all filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak the word of God with boldness.

Individual Healings

THE LEPER - Matthew 8:1-4; Mark 1:40-45; Luke 5:12-16

Matthew 8:1-2 - His approaching Jesus was against the cultural norm because lepers were forbidden to associate with unaffected people.

3 - The word “touched” is from the Greek “hapto” meaning to fasten to, to lay hold of. This indicates more than a slight touching. Most often, Jesus touched the people he ministered to.

Do not tell anyone. Some commentators call this “the messianic secret”. It may be that Jesus did not want to draw attention to himself too early in his ministry. Some responded to his power with a desire for revolution against Rome (John 6:15). He avoided this because of his sacrificial responsibility. His mission was not to overthrow Rome, rather to die for the sins of humanity. Maybe he did not want the size of the crowds to get out of hand. Matthew 12:15-21

He told the man to obey what is written in the law.  Leviticus 14:4-8

Mark 1:40-45

41 - Jesus had: 1) compassion, 2) fearlessness, 3) tenderness, and 4) willingness.

Ephesians 3:14-21 - God will help us to be Christ-like, loving.

Mark 1:43 - Jesus sternly warning him puts a lot more intensity to his words.

44-45 - Jesus’ life was greatly altered as a result of this man’s disobedience.

Jesus did not heal the man based upon what he would do afterwards. Healing is about faith, not future events.

Luke 5:12-16

MAN WITH WITHERED HAND (Matthew 12:7-14; Mark 3:1-7; Luke 6:6-11)

Matthew 12:7-14

7 - Jesus quoted Hosea 6:6. God desires compassion and not religious nonsense.

Everything he did was confronted by critics who designed to deter him from ministering and obeying God. We too will have similar struggles.

9 - Jesus is in their synagogue dealing with the same critical guys.

11-12 - If we have concern for helping an animal, how much more should we be concerned for a person? God and Christ are greatly concerned for the afflicted and want to heal them.

13 - He stayed focused on the afflicted man, rather than these critics. We must push through what the devil uses to hinder us from receiving or giving healing.

14 - The judgmental fools reacted negatively to the works of God and the words of His Son.

Matthew 12:15-20

17-21 is a quote from Isaiah 42. The emphasis of the prophecy is that the Messiah would bring justice. Sickness and demon-possession are not just. This is not right. Experiencing captivity, blindness, and oppression is not the will of God; rather, wholeness is the will of God. The greatest injustice put on mankind is the devil’s influence of sickness, disease, death, possession.

Mark 3:1-7

3 - “Get up and come forward” are inspired words that encouraged believing action.

5 - Jesus’ anger was controlled. He did not lose focus on the afflicted. Emotions can cause self-focus that open us to self-centeredness that can lead to doubt. Our focus must remain on Jesus and the afflicted we serve. We must be prepared for adversity so that we are not shocked and tripped up.

Luke 6:6-11

8 - The man did not ask for healing. God gave Jesus specific revelation regarding this situation. We also note this is the exception, not the normal.

10 - “Stretch out your hand.”  Jesus gave specific instruction, and the afflicted man obeyed, which again indicates faith. Faith is always founded upon God’s words.

Matthew 9 - Paralytic man - “Get up, pick up your bed and go home."

Luke 17 - 10 lepers - “go to the priest”

John 5 - Bethesda pool - “Get up, pick up your pallet and walk."

John 9 - Man born blind - “Go wash in the pool of Siloam”

Acts 3:7-8 - Peter, John, and the lame man

JAIRUS’ DAUGHTER RAISED   Matthew 9:18-26; Mark 5:21-43; Luke 8:40-56

Mark 5:21-22 - A synagogue official asking for Jesus’ help was unusual.

22 - “Fell at his feet” is an act of humility and reverence. He had the right attitude toward Jesus. Once again, the person comes to Jesus indicating faith.

We should ask Jesus, not Yahweh. God does the healing and miracles, but it is by way of His Son, and God is glorified.   Acts 3:1-9, 22; 3:16; 4:10, 24-31

1 Timothy 2:3-6   This is good and acceptable in the sight of God our Savior,

 4 who desires all men to be saved and to come to the knowledge of the truth.

 5 For there is one God, and one mediator also between God and men, the man Christ Jesus,

 6 who gave Himself as a ransom for all, the testimony given at the proper time.

Acts 2:22   “Men of Israel, listen to these words: Jesus the Nazarene, a man attested to you by God with miracles and wonders and signs which God performed through Him in your midst, just as you yourselves know--

23 - The word “well” is the Greek sozo. This man’s faith is clearly seen in his actions and attitude towards Jesus.

“Lay your hands on her” shows the normal way Jesus ministered to people. A physical connection with the person afflicted and the person ministering seems the standard way. Tenderness, gentleness, love, compassion, and genuine concern can all be transmitted by laying on holy hands.

Four categories of those who were healed:

  1. The most common was those who came to Christ on their own
  2. Those who were brought by someone else to Christ
  3. Those who could not come, but someone else like a friend or relative asked Jesus to come to the suffering one
  4. Those who did not come at all, and Christ seemed to seek them out for healing.

24 - Jesus responded to his request without any interrogation or hesitation. If someone came to him, faith was already in action.

25-34 - Relates to the woman bleeding twelve years and not to Jairus’ daughter; however, the incident surely helped to build faith

Since the Scriptures foretold that Jesus would heal and do miracles, specific revelation was not needed for each incident. Jesus did not know she was claiming her healing until after she received it.

35-36 - “Do not be afraid only believe” - fear not the daughter’s death was the concern. Fear is the manifestation of doubt, and doubt always undermines faith.

37 - Peter, James, and John were the 3 of the 12 he worked with the most.

38-40 - They laughed at him. Most often, if not always, something will confront us to interfere with our faith. Something will happen to inspire doubt. We must fix our minds on the Lord, not on ourselves. He got rid of the doubters

41 - Took her hand, touched her

42 - The woman with the issue of blood had it for 12 years, and the daughter was 12 too. Perhaps the timing of the women approaching Jesus was God-inspired. f

43 - “Get her something to eat” - Jesus was concerned about the details.

Matthew 9:18-26

18 - “My daughter is even now dead” - The phrase contradicts Mark and Luke. The Greek wording would have been better translated as “my daughter is dying” or “My daughter by this time is dead”.

21 - Faith is always founded on God’s Word, and in this case, her faith was upon the living Word.

22 - “Your faith has made you well [sozo]”. Once again, the requirement was faith. She had the courage and determination to push through the crowd.

23 - Can you imagine walking into a funeral home or church and doing what he did? We cannot have any concern for what other people think about us and must endeavor to eliminate those who hinder faith and promote doubt.

Luke 8:40-56

42 - “For he had an only daughter, about twelve years old, and she was dying.”

For this man to leave her bedside indicates courage and determination.

50 - “She will be made whole [sozo]” Jesus must have received reassurance from God on this one. He was convinced!

BLIND BARTIMAEUS   Matthew 20:29-34; Mark 10:46-52; Luke 18:35-43

Matthew 20:30   “Lord have mercy on us” Based upon the information provided in the OT, the phrase “Son of David” refers to the Messiah. The two blind men believed Jesus was the Messiah. Prophecy reveals that the Messiah would have mercy on the afflicted and heal them. For example:

"They will not hunger or thirst, nor will the scorching heat or sun strike them down; for He who has compassion [mercy] on them will lead them and will guide them to springs of water.   (Isaiah 49:10)

Shout for joy, O heavens! and rejoice, O earth! break forth into joyful shouting, O mountains! For Yahweh has comforted His people and will have compassion [mercy] on His afflicted.   (Isaiah 49:13)

"Can a woman forget her nursing child and have no compassion [mercy] on the son of her womb? Even these may forget, but I will not forget you.   (Isaiah 49:15)

Mercy is at the center of everything God does with His people (Ephesians 2:5). We deserve nothing. People often have exhausted every human effort before they turn to God. When deliverance is impossible, we humbly ask for help.

Matthew 20:31 - They were bold and strongminded with dogged persistence. They fought through the obstacle of the people telling them to stop. The supernatural is frequently resisted by some type of hindrance that we must ignore or fight through. The devil has woven lies about the supernatural into our Western culture that we all accept without deep consideration. These lies cause doubts, and doubts destabilize faith.

32 - Jesus did not assume they wanted healing for their blindness. We too must be specific with our requests in dealing with others who come to us for help.

34 - Jesus was moved with compassion; our motive in doing what we do is vital. Matthew 7 tells us that not everyone who does miracles with enter the Kingdom.

Mark 10:46-52

48 - The devil will work in other people to deter you from receiving or giving the supernatural. Others may perceive your actions as inappropriate, foolish, and so on. The focus must be on the Lord and not on people, situations, or circumstances.

52 - YOUR FAITH HAS MADE YOU WELL! - His faith was in the Messiah, so he came to him and insisted.

Luke 18:35-43

42 - The Greek word for “well” is sozo.

43 - “Glorifying God” - Every genuine supernatural matter should result in glorifying and praising God. We must direct people to respond accordingly and never pridefully accept the credit. Jesus never did.

PARALYTIC MAN AND FOUR FRIENDS   (Matthew 9:1-8; Mark 2:1-12; Luke 5:17-26)

Matthew 9:1-8

2 - Jesus makes a connection between afflictions and sin. We are not to conclude that every affliction is due to sins of commission; however, it is something we should consider as a root cause of our problem. In one sense, all sickness and death are the direct result of the original sin with Adam and Eve.

4 - Constantly, in every situation, Jesus had critics present. We too must learn to ignore or confront negativity when endeavoring to do God’s Word.

7 - When ministering to others, it may be necessary to help them identify their sins, repent, and accept God’s forgiveness.

Mark 2:1-12

4 - How difficult was it to carry this man on a stretcher up to the roof? For some, the situation with the crowd would have been a deterrent, but not to these 5 men. They had tenacity. Synonyms for “tenacious” are holding fast, persistence, stubbornness, toughness, bulldog determination.

5 - Their actions revealed their faith.

6-12 - God was glorified

Luke 5:17-26

According to our Lord, the primary roadblock for faith is doubt. We must fight through these doubts if we are convinced of the will of God.

Romans 4:20 and 21   Abraham, the faither of faith, grew strong in faith.

Luke 11:5-13; 18:1-8 - Fight; do not give up. Many turn against God when they do not get what they want immediately, like a spoiled child.

Hebrews 4:16; 10:22, 35, 36   I will not quit; I will not lose my confidence.

James 1:6-9   The in between time is the struggle, understanding the promise and receiving the promise. In between is when frustration, doubt, weariness, sadness may enter.

Romans 8:31-39 - We must learn to activity pursue, not passively wait. When the doubts come, and they will come, fortify yourself with the Scriptures. We must respond to doubt with truth as Jesus did when tempted by the devil.

John 15:7    "If you abide in Me, and My words abide in you, ask whatever you wish, and it will be done for you.

Acts 10:38   "You know of Jesus of Nazareth, how God anointed Him with the Holy Spirit and with power, and how He went about doing good and healing all who were oppressed by the devil, for God was with Him.

John 3:8   The Son of God appeared for this purpose, to destroy the works of the devil.

FAITH AND DOUBT 

Matthew 17:14-20 - Mustard seed is the smallest object that the disciples would have known about. Christ was not emphasizing that someone needed great faith, rather a very small amount of faith.

Matthew 8:13; 9:2, 22, 28, 29; 15:28   All of the thousands Jesus healed had one thing in commonthey had faith in Jesus the healer.

Matthew 14:28-31 - Peter doubted because he took his eyes off Christ and focused on the storm.  Mark 8:33   Peter’s emotions (rather than accepting Jesus’ words) hindered his faith. Matthew 26:69ff   Focus on the negative situation, rather than the words of his Lord, caused fear.

Matthew 21:18-22   Doubt undermines faith.

James 1:6-8   But he must ask in faith without any doubting, for the one who doubts is like the surf of the sea, driven and tossed by the wind.

 7 For that man ought not to expect that he will receive anything from the Lord,  8 being a double-minded man, unstable in all his ways.

Using Roger Sapp’s book, Beyond a Shadow of a Doubt, we will look at the common doubts that prevent people from receiving their healing and or ministering healing to others. Because doubts are often very subtle, they are seldom identified initially as doubts. These subtle doubts are often built right into what we understand or misunderstand about God. The healing ministry in the church has been inconsistent, unreliable, and unpredictable, primarily due to unresolved doubts.

We should ask ourselves the question – “Why do you think you are not being healed?” The answer may reveal a doubt you have regarding healing. Common responses to that question are: “It is not God’s will”, “sickness is the consequence of my sin”, “God’s timing”, “God has a special purpose”, or “I lack faith”. All of these thoughts may be doubts that prevent the power of God from manifesting.

We can understand God’s will by viewing Jesus’ actions and words, for he always did the will of the Father. John 4:34; 5:19, 30; 6:38; 14:10; and Hebrews 1:2-3

DOUBT - “It is not God’s will to heal all who are sick or injured. Not everyone gets healed, and I am one of those who does not.”

Jesus’ ministry does not support the idea that healing varies with individuals. We have viewed the records in the Gospels where Jesus healed everyone who came to him, without exception.

Matthew 8:16   When evening came, they brought to Him many who were demon-possessed; and He cast out the spirits with a word, and healed all who were ill.

Matthew 12:15   But Jesus, aware of this, withdrew from there. Many followed Him, and He healed them all,

Luke 6:17-19   Jesus came down with them and stood on a level place; and there was a large crowd of His disciples, and a great throng of people from all Judea and Jerusalem and the coastal region of Tyre and Sidon,

 18 who had come to hear Him and to be healed of their diseases; and those who were troubled with unclean spirits were being cured.           And all the people were trying to touch Him, for power was coming from Him and healing them all

Acts 5:16   Also the people from the cities in the vicinity of Jerusalem were coming together, bringing people who were sick or afflicted with unclean spirits, and they were all being healed.

Jesus never turned anyone away. The only time he rejected someone was the Canaanite woman with the daughter who was sick. Because of her persistence, he healed the girl. Jesus at that time thought his ministry was exclusive to Israel, but God showed him differently. Look at Luke 6 again.

Luke 17:12-19 - He healed all who came to him in faith without consideration of their past or future activity.

Whether it was one person, a small group, or a multitude, Christ heals all who come to him. The will of the Father is clear in this matter: the Father wishes all to receive healing. The only ones who are not healed are those who did not come to Christ because of unbelief and doubt.

Warren Sapp – “When someone meets the conditions, then in every case, Christ treats them the same. If one person can be healed, then all can be healed who meet the same conditions. No one can legitimately state that they met the conditions for healing and were not healed. When they do, they are revealing a shadow of doubt. Statements like these doubt the faithfulness of Christ in every situation. The statement also reveals that they are not apt to change their approach and continue seeking. They are failing to take the responsibility for learning more until they receive. There is something still lacking in their understanding, or they would be healed. This is not bad news but good news. They can still be healed. They must turn their attention to humbly seeking Christ for adjustment rather than doubting His faithfulness and justifying their failure. They must deal with their doubts and let their faith in Christ arise. They must move beyond a shadow of a doubt by beholding Christ, the True Light that enlightens every man and women.”

 DOUBT - “God’s has a benevolent purpose for my affliction.”

Some believe that God allows affliction so we can learn something of greater importance. His timing is not now, not until we gain this mysterious unknown.

Romans 8:28 - This does not say God causes all things to happen, but no matter what happens, He can bring some good as we depend on Him.

James 1:3-13 - God does not tempt people with evil.

Of the thousands of records about Jesus’ healing and delivering people, there is not one when he says, “Not now, God has a greater lesson for you to learn still.” Every time someone came with faith, he immediately responded and healed them. This nonbiblical thinking is offered as a reason for why a person does not get healed, while the correct biblical reasoning should focus on faith and not on doubt.

DOUBT -My sin is the cause of my sickness, and as such, God does not want to heal me.”

OT Scriptures provide the underpinning for this doubt.   Exodus 15:26; Deuteronomy 7:11-15; 28:18-28, 58-62

An Indisputable connection is made with obedience impacting health and disobedience causing sickness and affliction. In the least common denominator, all sickness, disease, and afflictions are connected to sin. We all have physical weaknesses we are born with because we are descendants of Adam. For the wages of sin is death, but the free gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord (Romans 6:23).

Repentance from sin and faith in Christ will break any curse of sickness.

Galatians 3:13   Christ redeemed us from the curse of the Law, having become a curse for us – for it is written, cursed is everyone who hangs on a tree.

1 John 1:9   If we confess our sins, He is faithful and righteous to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.

Ephesians 2:1-5   It is by God’s grace and mercy a person is saved, including healing and deliverance. You do not deserve to be saved, nor could you ever be good enough for salvation, including healing. So, if your doubt is “I do not deserve to be healed because I am a sinner”, you are 100% right!

Matthew 9:27-31   People understood the connection with the Messiah, mercy, and healing, so must we. The phrase “Son of David” refers to the Messiah. OT prophecy reveals that the Messiah would have mercy on the afflicted and heal them (Isaiah 49:10, 13, 15).

In the Nazareth synagogue, Jesus quoted Isaiah 61 to explain his ministry:

Luke 4:18-19   "The spirit of Yahweh is upon me, because He anointed me to preach the gospel to the poor. He has sent me to proclaim release to the captives, and recovery of sight to the blind, to set free those who are oppressed, to proclaim the favorable year of Yahweh."

Apparently, people in Jesus’ day were expecting the Messiah, the Son of David, to come with mercy to heal. The two blind men said “Have mercy, Son of David”. The Canaanite woman with the daughter who was “cruelly demon-possessed” came to Jesus and said, “Have mercy on me, Lord, Son of David.” The man with a demonized son came to him saying, “Lord, have mercy on my son, for he is a lunatic and is very ill.” This father understood the connection between mercy and healing. Jesus had mercy and healed the boy. Two more blind men received mercy and healing.

Matthew 20:30-34 - The four Gospels have many other incidents of afflicted people asking for mercy and receiving healing or deliverance from demons. The important point to embrace is all healing is due to God’s mercy. No one earns it or deserves it. Healing is not a reward for doing good or being holy. Look at Ephesians 2:1-5. What is required to receive redemption and salvation? Are you saved because you are a good boy or girl? No. In the same way with healing and deliverance, the only requirement is faith. Jesus healed thousands of people and never demanded sinlessness or any requirement other than faith.

Just as God wants all people to be saved, so He wants all to be healed. He is a merciful, compassionate, loving, kind God and Father. Jesus always did God’s will which is why he was merciful to all who came to him. Today, Jesus is our merciful and faithful high priest (Hebrews 2:17).

The punishment for the repented sinner was placed upon Jesus on the cross.

DOUBT -My healing is all according to God’s timing. My healing is in God’s hands, not mine.”

In the same way that we do not have to wait for the forgiveness of sins, we do not have to wait for healing. We received forgiveness when we heard the good news and believed. We received when we decided, not when God decided. Healing is the same. When we believe in Christ the Healer without doubt, we will be healed in the same fashion as when we believed in Christ as Savior and were saved.

Healing is available to all when and where they believe in Christ the Healer. It did not matter how long they were ill or injured. It did not matter why they were sick or injured. Logically, the timing for healing is always when you are sick or injured. Christ never postponed dealing with a healing problem. The power of God was always present when faith was present.

Sapp wrote:  “We receive according to our faith. We receive what we are able to believe for and no more or less. This is not bad news. It is actually good news. It is always possible when we receive a little from God to build upon that and receive more. When we receive something from God, it does experientially reveal His willingness to do it all. Half a healing reveals God’s desire to do it all. This should encourage us to receive everything that we need. It should lead us beyond a shadow of doubt.”

DOUBT ─ “I lack the faith to be healed. I don’t have enough faith.”

Matthew 21:19-21 - Christ attributes his capacity to do this miracle and all miracles to faith and tells them explicitly that they can do the very same thing if they have faith. Additionally, Christ tells them the one thing that will prevent them from accomplishing these things. They must believe and not doubt.

Cursing the fig tree and casting mountains into the sea reveal that the will of God is much wider, more diverse, and much more flexible than many of us believe. The fig tree’s withering and Christ’s statements here strongly tell us that God is much more willing to do the miraculous than we may expect. Perhaps, unbelieving mental and unscriptural doctrinal limitations to the will of God are why many Christians do not do the miraculous on a regular basis. We may doubt God’s willingness. We are waiting for God to reveal His will, His purpose, and His timing. Conversely, God is waiting for us. He is much more willing than we believe.

Western civilization is inundated with human rationalism--the belief or theory that opinions and actions should be based on reason and knowledge rather than on religious belief. Scientific rationalism is the practice or principle of basing opinions and actions on reason and knowledge rather than on religious belief. It postulates that nothing should be accepted as knowledge until it is proven as true and is consistently verified to be so. Faith, on the other hand, is the acceptance of claims where no evidence exists. However, all our true faith is based upon the Creator’s words.

Hebrews 11:1   Now faith is the assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things not seen.

Matthew 17:19-20 - The littleness of their faith was the problem, not God’s unwillingness nor God’s greater purpose or timing, etc. The father came looking for Jesus who was not there, nor were Peter, John, and James (the three top men). The child’s bizarre behavior, the tension of the scribes and crowd, all may have caused the apostles to doubt. Whatever the reason, they did not have the faith to do what was necessary. The good news was they could humbly admit to needing to understand more and to grow in their faith in Christ.

Jesus said in the context of the boy’s healing “…and nothing shall be impossible to you”. Jesus’ example and teaching show us that the Father is always willing to deliver and heal the sick, the injured, and the demonized. In the earlier passage, Christ also said that everything you ask in prayer, believing, you shall receive. This sounds much like nothing shall be impossible to you. Again, sorting out our doubts and dealing with them is essential to having a consistent flow of power in healing and miracles.

Impatience, frustration, criticism of self or God are all counterproductive. Remember what happened to Peter when he lost focus on his Lord’s words.

1 Timothy 1:13 - Ignorance causes unbelief, while the word of Christ causes faith.

Romans 10:17 - Christ’s example and words show us that the Father is always willing to deliver and heal the sick, the injured, and the demonized.

Romans 12:1-3 - We were given a measure of faith. Jesus is our example. He had no pride or confidence in himself, rather faith in God.

Galatians 5:22    But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness

1 Corinthians 12:7-12

DOUBT - “Unclear Conscience, Guilt, and Shame”

1 John 3:21-23   Beloved, if our heart does not condemn us, we have confidence before God;

 22 and whatever we ask we receive from Him, because we keep His commandments and do the things that are pleasing in His sight.

 23 This is His commandment, that we believe in the name of His Son Jesus Christ, and love one another, just as He commanded us.

If our heart condemns us, we will not have confidence before God.

Some are unable to receive healing or effectively minister to others until they resolve their feelings of guilt and shame. We may hold a consciousness or, worse, a subconscious feeling of unworthiness due to sinful behavior. Thereby, we harbor doubt of God’s willingness to help us. God is not withholding anything from us, but our doubt due to guilt and shame hinders our faith.

The supernatural often is experienced by new believers because they do not know the Scriptures enough to feel guilty. Sadly, the more mature with greater biblical knowledge are deceived into feelings of guilt and shame, causing doubt that hinders their faith.

Three reasons for our unclear conscience to consider are: 1) our evil lifestyle before Christianity still haunts us; 2) sins we currently commit wear down our confidence; and 3) the subconscious influence of the ascetic religious background causes us to believe we should suffer due to our flesh.

The Apostle Paul’s mindfulness regarding this subject is evident in his writings. He talked about his conscience when addressing the council in Acts 23:1 and before Felix in Acts 24:16. He said to Felix, “In view of this, I also do my best to maintain always a blameless conscience both before God and before men.” To Timothy he wrote, “But the goal of our instruction is love from a pure heart and a good conscience and a sincere faith” (1 Timothy1:5). Paul encouraged Timothy to maintain a pure conscience and to instruct the elders that they must have a pure conscience (1 Timothy 1:19 and 3:9).

Our evil lifestyle before Christianity still haunts us

Paul was humble and never forgetful about the evil that was his before he accepted Christ. Jesus came to Paul while he was on his way to commit atrocities against the followers of Christ. His recollection of his past continually helped him to embrace God’s grace, mercy, and forgiveness. He did not allow his past to diminish faith, rather to enhance it.

Current sins wear down our confidence

The Lord’s prayer informs us that the temptation to sin is a daily struggle and that forgiveness is readily available if we ask and are forgiving to others. Romans 7, Galatians 5, and Ephesians 4 set forth the constant fight that is ours between our sin nature and new nature. God is not surprised that we sin, nor does He hold it over our head. Rather, He made provision for us to receive forgiveness and cleansing so we can have a clear conscious.

  8 If we say that we have no sin, we are deceiving ourselves and the truth is not in us.

 9 If we confess our sins, He is faithful and righteous to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.

 10 If we say that we have not sinned, we make Him a liar and His word is not in us.   (1 John 1:8-10)

The devil is called the temper, deceiver, and accuser. His system of evil is to encourage us to sin then entice us to feel guilt and shame so that we have doubt in relationship with God and the supernatural realm. After we confess our sins, we can immediately accept forgiveness based upon scriptural truth or battle acceptance based upon our feelings. The choice is ours, not God’s, for He promises to forgive and cleanse.

For those of us who struggle with habitual sin such as overeating, alcohol, tobacco, drugs, lust, and so on, maintaining a pure conscience is more difficult. Right here, right now, we should decide to seek the supernatural intervention of our Lord to free us from this oppression that hinders our relationship with God and our faith. Do whatever has to be done to stop.

The religious effect of asceticism may influence us subconsciously. 

Asceticism is a lifestyle characterized by abstinence from sensual pleasures, often for the purpose of pursuing spiritual goals. Ascetics typically adopt a frugal lifestyle by the renunciation of material possessions and physical pleasures. They also spend time fasting while concentrating on the practice of religion or reflection upon spiritual matters.

Asceticism has been historically observed in many religious traditions including BuddhismJainismHinduismIslam, Catholicism, Christianity, and Judaism. Elijah and John the Baptist maintained a godly ascetic lifestyle. In the times of Jesus, there were three major religious groups the Pharisees, Sadducees, and the Essenes. The latter were immersed in asceticism. Their priests practiced celibacy. It is believed the Essenes were responsible for the Dead Sea scrolls.

The church fathers, OrigenJeromeIgnatiusJohn Chrysostom, and Augustine, lived in highly ascetic environments.  The well-known Francis of Assisi and his followers practiced extreme acts of asceticism. The clergy of the largest religions today hold to varying degrees of asceticism. The Roman Catholic monks, priests, and nuns hold to vows of celibacy and poverty. The clergy are often viewed as the most spiritual in each religious group. The unspoken impression congregants gain is that denial of pleasures in the avoidance of sins is extremely arduous, undesirable, and impossible for the common man. Asceticism did seem to aid some to gain a greater spiritual life. However, these disciplines warped into the belief that suffering was the way to a spiritual lifestyle. Instead of believing that Christ suffered for our sins so that we need not suffer, his suffering became the lifestyle to mimic.

18 Let no one disqualify you, insisting on asceticism and worship of angels, going on in detail about visions, puffed up without reason by his sensuous mind,

 19 and not holding fast to the Head, from whom the whole body, nourished and knit together through its joints and ligaments, grows with a growth that is from God.

 20 If with Christ you died to the elemental spirits of the world, why, as if you were still alive in the world, do you submit to regulations--

 21 "Do not handle, Do not taste, Do not touch"

 22 (referring to things that all perish as they are used)--according to human precepts and teachings?

 23 These have indeed an appearance of wisdom in promoting self-made religion and asceticism and severity to the body, but they are of no value in stopping the indulgence of the flesh.   (Colossians 2:18-23 ESV)

Colossians 3:1-4 - Extreme asceticism contributed greatly to the elimination of the supernatural in Christianity. It promoted the opposite of Jesus’ stated ministry recorded in Luke 4:18, captivity rather than freedom, blindness replaced sight, and oppression freedom.

Roman Catholic churches have front and center Jesus still on the cross, and on the walls are the fictious 14 stations of the cross thereby placing images of suffering central rather than faith, hope, and love. Instead of Christ resurrected, ascended, and empowering disciples with holy spirit, sin consciousness is communicated. Many Christians that emerge from these ascetic religions are very sin-conscious and prone to guilt and shame that encourage doubt and fear.

The wrong doctrine regarding purgatory tempts people to sin-consciousness. This Roman Catholic tradition was invented in the late 11th century. Purgatory is supposedly a physical place that people may enter after death. It purports that the living can help those whose purification from their sins is not yet completed by offering intercessory prayers and indulgences. With the purchase of indulgences, the suffering one can receive remission of part or all of the purgatorial punishment. Once the sins are paid off, the person can then enter heaven.  The indulgences offered are financial gifts and or purchasing mass cards, liturgical vestments, pews, and so on. This nonbiblical tradition generated great financial gain for the church and teaches people they must pay for their own sins thereby nullifying the cross of Christ.

Matthew 9:1-8; Mark 2:3-12; Luke 5:24-25 - Jesus made a connection between forgiveness of sins and healing.

DOUBT ─ Fear of presumption

Presumption is an attitude or conduct dictated by probability. Assumption is a thing taken as true or certain without proof. The doubt is of having too much faith going beyond what God wants or instructs. However, this concern is never discussed in the Scripture. The opposite seems to be the concern. The religious leaders, inspired by the accuser, constantly criticize Jesus as being presumptuous regarding the Mosaic Law or the traditions. However, he always proved them wrong. We have already repeatedly noted God’s will for His people to live by the supernatural.

Today, there are fearful and foolish teachers that condemn those who manifest the spirit saying the miracles were for Jesus and his disciples and not for the church today. They are to be ignored and prayed for that they gain spiritual wisdom and boldness.

There is a place where concerns about presumption might have an application in healing ministry. Occasionally, some overzealous people will put their life at risk when they are seeking healing. We should highly encourage anyone with a life-threatening condition to continue medical care until they have a verified healing. We do not want to follow the devil’s temptation that he used on Jesus to throw himself off the temple to prove he was the Son of God.

Taking a risk with your health does not constitute faith. Desperate risk-taking will never compel God to do anything. He has already done what is necessary by sending His Son at Calvary. Taking a serious risk with your health may only be the devil using misunderstanding, impatience, and fear to drive you to a foolish test of God.

Some fail to be healed because they place noble motives as the reason God should heal them, rather than just believing the will of God is for all to be healed by faith in Jesus the Healer. Some think “I want to be healed for the glory of God” or “I want to be healed so that I can raise my children in Christ” or “I want to be healed because it will help others to come to Christ.” The only incentive for healing or deliverance with Jesus was that the person was afflicted and had faith in Jesus to heal.

DOUBT ─ The lack of gifts and anointing doubt

“I don’t have the gift of healing or miracles; therefore, I cannot expect to see much happen in this realm.” “The apostles and disciples then were gifted, but today things are different.” The NT encourages us to desire and seek for spiritual gifts and not to refrain.

But earnestly desire the greater gifts. And I show you a still more excellent way.   (1 Corinthians 12:31)

Pursue love, yet desire earnestly spiritual gifts, but especially that you may prophesy.   (1 Corinthians 14:1)

2 So also you, since you are zealous of spiritual gifts, seek to abound for the edification of the church.   (1 Corinthians 14:12)

1 Corinthians 12:4-12

Healing and miracles and other gifts are given by a loving God to help people. He works through believers who want to lovingly serve others.

Luke 4:18   Jesus is the anointed one. “Christ” means anointed one. Due to wrong teaching about special anointing, some claim they are not anointed, so they cannot do miracles

Jesus is the anointed one, and he lives in all his followers to do his will with us.

However, you are not in the flesh but in the Spirit, if indeed the Spirit of God dwells in you. But if anyone does not have the Spirit of Christ [anointed one], he does not belong to Him.   (Rom 8:9)

"I have been crucified with Christ [anointed one]; and it is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me;   (Gal 2:20)

to whom God willed to make known what is the riches of the glory of this mystery among the Gentiles, which is Christ in you, the hope of glory.   (Col 1:27)

Christ, the anointed one, lives in you. He was anointed to: "the spirit of the Lord is upon me, because he anointed me to preach the gospel to the poor. he has sent me to proclaim release to the captives, and recovery of sight to the blind, to set free those who are oppressed, to proclaim the favorable year of the Lord."

[1] Isaiah 42:1-4; 49:1-6; 50:4-9; and 52:13-53:12

[2] The Hebrew words translated “sorrows” is makob and “grief” is choli.

No Comments Yet.

Leave a comment

X