Healing is God’s Justice
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Healing is God’s Justice
  We say we believe Jesus and the Scripture promises regarding our salvation and acceptance into heaven at the end of our lives, and so we do. But the Scripture also says this about our lives at present and the battles we face right now:   Jesus summoned His twelve disciples and gave them authority over unclean spirits, to cast them out, and to heal every kind of disease and every kind of sickness. (Mt. 10:1)   Wow, now that bears reading again… as it is repeated in Luke 9:1 and Luke 10:13, and also in Mark.   What are we to make of these words?… Did Jesus tell the truth about heaven and the forgiveness of our sins, but then lie about unclean spirits and sickness, and our authority over them? Since God “is not a man, that He should lie,” (Num. 23:19) certainly these words have to be as true as the salvation promise. Surely, we can’t take the position that we can believe one promise and not the other. Psalm 103 itself makes it quite clear that that option is not available to us: “Bless the Lord, O my soul,…Who pardons all your iniquities, Who heals all your diseases.” As any decent lawyer will tell you, you cannot separate out one provision of a contract from another one, and merely comply with one and not the other – if one promise or covenant in an agreement falls, the rest are no longer considered valid. The Lord knows this, which is why He said it through the Holy Spirit and David exactly as is set forth in the Psalm, and again in 2 Pe. 2:24, linking the salvation promise with the healing promise. We have no grounds for believing the salvation promise if the healing promise is not also true, and we are hypocrites if we try to do so. The two promises are inseparably intertwined in these passages because they are inseparably intertwined in the work of the cross where Christ provided for both. See. e.g., Mat. 8:16-18. (See also the Article “Saviour and Healer: The Indivisibility of Christ.”)   Consider just for a moment the ramifications of such a “great and precious promise” (2 Pe. 1:4) – authority over the devil’s minions, and likewise over all sickness. The mind boggles.…   Well, you say, that authority was given to his disciples THEN, not to us NOW. But, I suggest, so were all the other promises – they were given to His followers THEN. Don’t we still believe that they are for us NOW? See, e.g., the entire Upper Room discourse spoken to His disciples THEN (“I go to prepare a place for you…”) in John 14-17. Is anyone going to actually say those promises are applicable only to the twelve disciples and not to us? No – not if they believe the Gospel. Certainly, we know that Jesus “is the same, yesterday, today, and forever” (Hbr. 13:8). Was what He said true THEN, but not true NOW?   Of course not.   The Promise of Authority is For Us Today   We should recall:   For as many as are the promises of God, in Him (Christ) they are yes; therefore also through Him is our Amen to the glory of God through us. (2 Cr. 1:20)   The promises of God are for us – you and me – and all those who are joined to the Lord and are therefore one spirit with Him (1 Cor. 6:17). We are co-heirs with Christ of all the promises of God (Rom. 8:17; Gal. 3:29), every one of which can be inherited through faith and patience/perseverance (Hbr. 6:12).   The post-modern visible church may have disdained the awesome inheritance – the promise of authority over unclean spirits and disease, but that doesn’t mean that we should. The evangelical carnival hucksters, tent show revivalists, and TBN frauds may have brought the promises into ridicule and disrepute, but that doesn’t mean the promises are no longer good – does it?   Christ is seated in the heavenly places at the right hand of the Father “far above all rule, authority, power, and dominion, and every name that is named, both in this age and the age to come” (Eph. 1:21), and guess what? - We are “seated with Him”! (Eph. 2:6). Therefore, because of Christ’s work on earth and our joinder to Him and the Father as one (Jhn. 17:21), we are also positioned “far above” all other authority in the Universe, including Satan. Everything under God is also “in subjection under our feet” (Eph. 1:22). God knows it, Satan knows it, the unclean spirits know it and tremble (Ja. 2:19), but we apparently don’t believe it. And so the tragedy is that we cower as Satan “prowls around like a roaring lion, seeking someone to devour.” (1 Pet. 5:8)   Regardless of all that has gone on in this world since Christ ascended to heaven, and all the unbelief and Satanic attempts at undermining and discrediting the Word of God over the last twenty centuries, all of the promises of God are still good – there is no other alternative, for if all are not good, none of them can be trusted, and let us be honest then and forget about Christ and eternity now, and proceed to grab and gorge on everything we can from this life because who knows what the next one holds.   ***     Our Real Enemies   According to Jesus and Paul, the unclean spirits are the purveyors of sickness and emotional torment. They are our real enemies:   For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the powers, against the world forces of this darkness, against the spiritual forces of wickedness in the heavenly places. (Eph. 6:12)   Their right to torment us is based upon the fact of our rebellion against God, and the Curse of that rebellion. (Rom. 5:1; Deu. 28:15 et seq.) When through Adam our forefather we joined Satan’s rebellion in the Garden, we became subjects in Satan’s kingdom. Consequently, he treats us as he likes, just as Pharaoh did the Jews, with a whip to the back, until God took the Jews out of Egypt and Pharaoh’s domain, just as through Christ He has taken us out of  the domain of darkness, and transferred us to the kingdom of His beloved Son.” (Col. 1:13)   But if we don’t know that we are out of Satan’s kingdom, if we don’t believe God and actively assert our right and authority to be free, Satan, being a criminal, will treat us like we are still under his domain, and the tail of the whip will keep lashing our backs. Essentially, Satan is running a bluff, a scam operation – acting like he is still in control when it is us who have in Christ now been exalted to the right hand of God with Christ, not him. Christ is the deliverer sent by God in response to the cries of mankind for help. Types, shadows, or precursors of Christ can be found throughout the Old Testament, not only Moses and Joshua, but especially the deliverers in the Book of Judges. The format was as follows: blessing of God being received by the Israelites, blessing then being forgotten and apostasy setting in, the enemies of God’s people then oppressing and overrunning them, and God then sending a deliverer who turned the tables on the oppressor! This is the key point to note in every such instance in the Old Testament - the former overlords of the Lord’s people now became their subjects! In Christ, the Father has done precisely that in spades in the supernatural realm. Christ overturned the universal order when He ascended, and a new order has been established. All things have become new.” (2 Cr. 5:17) Recall, Man fell – from a position of intimacy and freedom with God to a groveling subject in bondage in Satan’s kingdom. In Christ, man has been resurrected with Christ and exalted to the right hand of God. As 1 Pe. 3:22  says, Jesus “has gone into heaven and is at the right hand of God, with angels, authorities, and powers having been subjected to him.” Those “angels, authorities, and powers” were our former overlords and oppressors. They are now our underlings - they are now to grovel before us. In a universe that is based on authority, this is a very big deal. Let me repeat – A VERY BIG DEAL. But when the crowds saw this, they were awestruck, and glorified God, who had given such authority to men. Mt. 9:8 The crowds in Christ’s day knew exactly what was happening, and they were “awestruck!” Satan and the unclean spirits are well aware of the new order, and constantly gnash their teeth over it. They survive in their deadly business because we are kept in darkness by them and the theology of helplessness they so successfully promote in many of our churches and leaders. As a result, we go on with our lives and act as if Christ has changed nothing. The magnificent truth is this: Everything has changed since Christ ascended to the right hand of the Father, bringing us with him. A new universal order has been established with man in union with the very godhead (1 Cr. 6:17; Jhn 14; Jhn 17), and all things under our feet (Eph.1:15-21) and that order is the eternal order and is never, ever to be altered again. As a result, it is only those who call his bluff who can expose Satan’s scam and cause him to flee, because they know what God has really done in sending Christ and who they really are in Christ, Princes and Princesses of the Kingdom, with all the attendant authority. “Resist the devil and he will flee from you.” (Ja. 4:7)   *** Why We Don’t Fight Christ ran up against and exposed unclean spirits constantly. We don’t because we don’t believe that they exist, and so we don’t fight back. Like snakes and termites, they operate in the dark - while we sleep they slither into the private places of our souls and bodies and rot the foundations of our health, homes and families because we refuse to expose them and shine the light of truth on them so that they might be discovered and defeated exactly as Mat. 10:1 authorizes.   Was Christ deluded as to the existence of unclean spirits, mistaking unclean spirits for mental or physical illness? If He truly is God, the maker of all things (Col. 1), then we have to conclude that He wasn’t confused. According to Jesus and the disciples, unclean spirits caused most (if not all) sickness, (e.g., Mark 9:15-27; Luke 13:11-16; Mat. 8:15-17; Acts 10:38) – to get rid of the sickness, expose and oust the spirit. This is how John summarized the purpose of Jesus: “The Son of God appeared for this purpose – to destroy the works of the devil.” (1 Jhn. 3:8). This is how Peter summarized the life of Jesus:   "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)   According to Peter, those who needed healing were those who were oppressed by the Enemy. Healing then comes by taking authority over the devil’s minions - the authority Jesus gave us in Matthew 10:1 quoted above. The picture should be becoming clear. When we are tormented physically or emotionally, we need to confront the Enemy of God.   We moderns act as if we have no supernatural enemies, when the evidence is plain before us as we read the newspapers and scan the internet aghast at the horrors daily coming upon man both individually and collectively. But if we really have none why do we think there is so much in the Scripture about Christ being the means by which we are set free from our enemies? As Zacharias, the father of John the Baptist prophesied about Jesus before His birth:   Blessed {be} the Lord God of Israel, For He has visited us and accomplished redemption for His people, And has raised up a horn of salvation for us in the house of David His servant-- As He spoke by the mouth of His holy prophets from of old-- Salvation from our enemies, and from the hand of all who hate us;… To grant us that we, being rescued from the hand of our enemies, Might serve Him without fear, in holiness and righteousness before Him all our days. (Lk 1:68-75)   Either the prophecy was false or Zacharias was talking about Satan and his horde, because Christ did not rescue Israel from any physical enemies while on earth. What Jesus did on earth as the Gospel accounts indicate was rescue people from unclean spirits and diseases, and preach the coming of the Kingdom of God.   Jesus Himself first announced His prime messianic purpose at the synagogue in Galilee - “I have come to set the captives free” (Lk. 4:18) - and in the next scene (Lk. 4:33) He demonstrates precisely what this means by confronting a demonized man and casting out the evil spirit.   Jesus actually called deliverance from unclean spirits/sickness “the children’s bread” (Mat. 15:26) when addressing the Syro-phoenician woman who tracked Him down because her daughter was at home “sorely vexed by a demon.” In other words, it is so essential for our mental and physical health, according to Jesus, to resist the Enemy’s torment that to continue on without relief is like trying to live without bread. We shouldn’t try to live without bread – we also shouldn’t try to live without being free from torment. "So if the Son makes you free, you will be free indeed.” (Jn. 8:36)   The Battle is the Lord’s   People go to church sick with cancer, anorexia, epilepsy, ADD, arthritis, and the rest of the lot, and they usually leave church unchanged and still sick. People go to church mentally tormented by fear, anxiety, worry, lust and the rest of the lot, and they usually leave just as tormented. Unfortunately, the visible church today has little to say to the sick and tormented, other than to offer platitudes and to tell them to wait for heaven. Christ didn’t tell people to wait until death for release from sickness and Satan – he went out immediately to plunder  Satan's kingdom. (Mt. 12:29). He announced that the war between God and Satan, between one kingdom and the other, is here and now: The seventy returned with joy, saying, "Lord, even the unclean spirits are subject to us in Your name.” And He said to them, "I was watching Satan fall from heaven like lightning. Behold, I have given you authority to tread on serpents and scorpions, and over all the power of the enemy, and nothing will injure you.” (Luke 10:17-19).   "And as you go, preach, saying, 'The kingdom of heaven is at hand. 'Heal the sick, raise the dead, cleanse the lepers, cast out unclean spirits. Freely you received, freely give.” (Mt. 10:7- 8) Aren’t we to do what Jesus did? He is a warrior, why aren’t we?   “The Lord is a warrior, the Lord is His Name.” (Ex. 15:3) If one side understands that there is a war and fights and the other side derides the idea of war, or denies the fact that one is ongoing, who do you think will win?   We are not to be intimidated by the thought of war against unseen and powerful enemies. We are to take courage because the battle is the King's. As David, a mere slip of a boy at 17, said before separating the eight-foot tall battle-hardened Goliath from his head: “The battle is the Lord’s” (1 Sam. 17:47).   All we ordinary folks are asked to do is show up and have a bit of courage (Jos. 1:6-7) so that the Lord can fight His enemies (and ours) through us. God Has Already Answered Our Prayer   Our problem is not that we ask God for too much - that we end up disappointed because we over- estimate His goodness. The problem is that we terribly under-estimate the incredibly magnificent thing He has done in sending the Lord Jesus to us. According to His own Word, He has answered our cry for help and given us all He has – there is nothing more for us. He has held back nothing, and yet the time we do spend in prayer, instead of spending it affirming all that He has provided for us in Christ and praising Him with every fiber of our being for it, we spend it complaining and cajoling and hoping against hope that He will somehow deign, as cold and distant and heartless as we may believe He is, to toss us a bone and maybe heal us of leukaemia or depression – and just for once come through.   God doesn’t usually answer that prayer as asked when we pray it because, quite clearly, He has already answered it – He has sent Jesus, and given us the authority to use that Name, the Name above all Names, as our infallible weapon against sickness and torment, as Samson wielded the jawbone symbolizing the spoken WORD against His enemies. God answers that prayer by directing us to Jesus. We are simply to believe what God has already done in sending His Son, and to act upon that awesome truth.   God’s will is absolutely crystal clear on the subject of illness (See, e.g., Ps. 103:1-2; Mt. 8:3, 16). Jesus never refused healing to anyone. All who came to Him were healed, without exception. None were told to come back later after they had “suffered for God” or “learned a lesson.” Unlike those who speak such nonsense now, He had compassion on all who came to Him. And He has not changed. As a parent would you refuse healing to your child if he asked for it? Of course not. Are we better than God - our Father?   "Or what man is there among you who, when his son asks for a loaf, will give him a stone? Or if he asks for a fish, he will not give him a snake, will he? If you then, being evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father who is in heaven give what is good to those who ask Him!” (Mt. 7:9-11)   ***   Our Fear of Man   But, unfortunately, we have a slight problem. Most of us really don’t want healing and deliverance from spiritual oppression/sickness if it means doing what Jesus did; frankly, it’s just too embarrassing to lay hands on people, to speak healing out loud with conviction, and to cast the denizens of hell back to the pit from which they emerged to afflict us. Someone might laugh at us. Better to suffer – such is the power of pride in our lives, and the fear of what man thinks, that we permit ourselves and our loved ones to continue down the road to death and destruction in the face of the fabulous rescue promised us from the very mouth of God.   I suspect that Satan lies awake at night fearing that at some point we will wake up and choose to come into our inheritance, and so he does all he can to de-legitimize the promises, and our authority over him and sickness. He knows that most of us fear man, and man’s disapproval and ridicule, and that we desire to be respectable above all else. He then uses that to empower the guys with the hairdos on TV to make a mockery of the wonderful gifts of the Holy Spirit, and the authority we have in Jesus, to ensure that we never summon the courage to act out in faith Christ’s words to us, for he knows that that would be the end of his kingdom. Jesus promised that we will do all the works He did, and even greater works. (Jn. 14:12). And that means ridding ourselves of unclean spirits, emotional oppression, and disease, because that’s exactly what He did over and over again. Jesus also commanded us to love one another as He loved us. How did He love us? – by preaching the kingdom, healing the sick, and casting out unclean spirits, before finally laying His life down for us, to receive the due penalty of the Curse in His own body, thus taking the Curse off us (Gal. 3:13) – the curse of sin and sickness (Dt. 28:15 et seq.). Since Jesus has come, unclean spirits and their associated sicknesses have no more right to us, but they are happy to carry on with their whips and torment, at least until we summon the courage to challenge them. And so we still suffer, and refuse to do anything about it. After all, we are respectable people. We don’t want to be laughed at, and so we, and our spouses, and our kids are freely tormented by the Evil One – some even to the point of acute depression or suicide, while others are just mauled by disease, and the visible church quietly readies the funeral sacraments while it often lies helpless in the face of evil.   We don’t do what Jesus did because, frankly, we really don’t believe what He said, and we’re way too timid to give it a try. We are comfortable with Christianity. We are not comfortable with Jesus. In fact, He apparently embarrasses us.   Those in the body of Christ who criticize healing ministry are generally the ones who have never lifted a finger to deliver anybody. They maintain that we are to be satisfied in the here and now, in the midst of our distress with religious words and improvable salvation promises, whereas Paul said that “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.” (1 Cr. 2:4-5)   The Scripture makes clear that the demonstration of power that he referred to was in the authority he exercised in Christ over unclean spirits and disease. Even Jesus said that if you don’t believe His own word that He was sent from God, “believe because of the works themselves.” (Jn. 14:11). God didn’t expect people to believe then without demonstrations of power, why should we expect people to believe now? ***   If we believe the Lord Jesus Christ, and if we love our families and friends, and if we love the Lord Himself who calls us to battle, we will do as He did.   "[B]ut so that the world may know that I love the Father, I do exactly as the Father commanded Me. Get up, let us go from here." (Jn. 14:31) (C) Copyright. All Rights Reserved. All or parts hereof may be disseminated or copied without cost provided that this website is identified as the source.
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OUR AUTHORITY OVER UNCLEAN SPIRITS AND DISEASE

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