Healing is God’s Justice
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HEALING 101

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The “Whip” of Disease  In Mark 3:10, Mark 5:29 and Mark 5:34, the latter two verses dealing with the woman with the issue of blood, the Greek word used for suffering or disease is "mastix". That Greek word actually means a "whip" or a "scourge." For example, it is used when referring to Paul's scourging in Acts 22:24.   Now, that connection between disease/suffering and a scourging is a very interesting clue to help us understand other healing Scriptures...and how we can be healed and stay healed.   Who Is The One Who “Whips” Mankind With Disease? We have seen that the Scripture verses above in Mark refer to disease as equivalent to suffering the blows of a whip to a person’s body. We might then ask who is administering these blows, God or Satan? Let us not be confused about this. For if it is God, perhaps we should simply accept the disease. (Logically, perhaps we shouldn’t even fight against God by going to the doctor.) If it is Satan, and not God, who is whipping us with disease or torment, perhaps we should fight, and fight hard. Recall that “death [came in] through sin, and so death spread to all  men, because all sinned.” (Rom. 5:12) There was no cancer in the Garden of Eden. Cancer came in with death as a result of sin, and “sin is of the devil for the devil has sinned form the beginning.” (1 Jhn. 3:8) “Fools are afflicted because of their disobedience, And because of their iniquities...” (Ps. 107:17) We know that Peter summed up the whole life of Jesus by saying that He went about "healing all who were oppressed by the devil" (Acts 10:38). Plainly, then, it seems that not God but Satan, who is the author of sin and therefore disease and death, is the one responsible for emotional and physical disease and suffering for which we require healing. Indeed, this accords with all the other Scriptures where Christ commanded the unclean spirits, agents of Satan, to leave in order to heal the person, and the fact that Christ healed all who came to Him, turning away no one (e.g., Mat. 4:24; Mat. 12:15). Would Christ have done that if disease were from His Father? Of course not. He is the “exact representation of the Father.” (Hbr. 1:3) He would not counter the Father’s will. He came to do the Father‘s will in all respects. (Jhn 5:30) The Scripture also says that Christ came “to destroy the works of the devil’ (1 Jhn 3:8), not to destroy the works of His Father. Therefore, we can safely conclude that Satan is the one wielding the whip of disease/torment against us. Must Satan’s Whip Remain Upon Our Backs? Today’s prevailing theology generally tells us that our only hope for freedom from the devil’s whip is secular medicine or treatment, after which at some point we can offer a prayer or two, being assured, however by many evangelical leaders that God is “sovereign” and therefore may or may not (usually not) rescue us from our affliction, because He is supposedly working out greater purposes than merely freeing us when the devil is whipping us mercilessly with, for example, cancer or Lou Gehrig’s disease. But does that sound right to you? Did Christ ever fail to rescue when asked by His brethren who were under the devil’s whip of disease? What does the Scripture say? Again, the Scripture says that Christ healed all who came to Him – no exceptions. The Scripture repeats that “there is no partiality with God”. (See e.g., Rom. 2:11; Eph. 6:9) Christ never talked about cancer being good for one person while He healed another. Moreover, Christ “is the same yesterday, today, and forever.” (Hbr. 13:8) Psalm 103 clearly conjoins in the same verse the benefit of salvation with the benefit of healing. We are told to “bless the Lord and forget none of His benefits, Who pardons our iniquities and heals our diseases.” Wouldn’t it be intellectually dishonest to believe one benefit and disdain the other? To be sure that we don’t miss this, the Holy Spirit again references together the same two benefits - healing and salvation -  in 1 Peter 2:24-25: “He Himself bore our sins in His body on the tree...By His stripes you have been  healed.” Certainly, the Holy Spirit is intent on driving home the connection between the two! Further, the Father has “sent His Word (Christ) and healed them, and delivered them from their destruction. Let us give thanks to the Lord for His lovingkindness and His wonders to the Sons of men.” (Ps. 107:20) Matthew says, in quoting the prophecy in Isaiah, that "Jesus carried away our diseases and took our infirmities" (Mat. 8:17). That certainly sounds significant for the hurting and suffering – if Christ has taken and carried these things away, surely we no longer need to bear them.   Moreover, the communion sacrament consists of the wine AND the bread. The wine represents the blood shed by Christ “for the remission of sins,” (Mat. 26:28) - the healing of our spirits. What then is the bread for? Clearly, the bread is not also representative of the remission of sins for the healing of our spirits. The bread is representative of the sacrifice of His body for the healing of our bodies. As Christ broke the bread, He said: “This is my body which is FOR YOU”, or “that FOR YOU is being broken”. (1 Cr. 11:24)  His body was given for ours - it was wounded, as Peter says, or broken, as Christ Himself says, FOR US. Why? Because all the brokenness and woundedness which is our lot while under a Curse in a world ruled by the Evil One is taken with the Curse by Him in our stead, so that brokenness and woundedness need no longer be our lot! Indeed, Paul chastized those Corinthian believers who did not “rightly discern the body” in the communion sacrament and so were “weak and sickly and some have even died.” (1 Cr. 11:29-30) Finally, we can look back to the first Passover in Egypt, which presaged the communion sacrament, where we are told that following that meal, on the march out of Egypt, “...there was not one feeble person among their tribes.” (Ps. 105:37) In other words, Christ’s sacrifice, as represented by the Passover lamb, resulted in there being no “weak and sickly” among them. In sum, we can discern God’s unequivocal attitude against sickness if we are willing to simply examine the Scripture, and discard the false theology of helplessness and, frankly, the slander of God’s character in attributing Satan’s torment to God. [Note: Assuredly, God is “sovereign” or supreme, but what that really means is this: (i) God has sovereignly chosen to promise to heal you and He has already fulfilled that promise through Christ’s work; and (ii) God is not only Judge but also King, and in that capacity can choose (and does choose on occasion) to manifest your healing even if you have asked the Judge merely for a favor. Thus, even today kings and presidents have the right to pardon those who have lost before the courts. What God being “sovereign” assuredly does not mean is that, having promised that He has healed you through Christ’s work, He is still free to change His mind and lie to you and act contrary to that promise. “Once I have sworn in my holiness, I WILL NOT LIE TO DAVID.” (Ps. 89:35)] Christ Has Taken The Whip In Our Stead! Finally, Peter says that, again quoting Isaiah, "by his stripes, you have been healed." (1 Pe. 2:24) That verse especially ties in poignantly with the discussion above about sickness being the result of Satan’s whip upon our backs. What, then, does that mean for our possible healing? As part of his suffering for us, and as a representation in the natural of a profound supernatural reality, it appears that Christ took the devil’s whip upon His back in a particularly gruesome way at the hands of the Romans. Please do not miss the significance of that part of His suffering.   We can then conclude from the verses above, especially 2 Peter, that the whipping legally due us for the rebellion of the race of Adam against God was placed upon Jesus as the representative of our race and thereby removed from us. Paul says that Jesus took the "Curse" of our rebellion from us (Gal. 3:13). It follows that the whip of disease and sickness which results from the Curse of rebellion (see Deu. 28:15 et seq.) no longer legally remains on us. Pharaoh, a symbol of Satan, administered the whip to the backs of God's people while our spiritual ancestors were in bondage to him in Egypt, but in joining us to Christ the Father has taken us out of Pharaoh's domain, out of Satan's domain, and transferred us to the kingdom of His beloved Son (Col. 1:13) - out of Egypt and into the Land of His Promises, a land of milk and honey and physical and emotional health which is the only way we can be expected to "reign in life" through Christ (Rom. 5:17). That means that under the Law of the Universe administered by the Judge of the Universe, no more whips of torment and suffering are to be legally laid across our backs! That’s why Peter says that because of Christ’s “stripes” we have been healed. Past tense! Therefore, we no longer need to cry out to God for healing, for God has already "heard the cry of His people" and through Christ delivered us out of Satan's kingdom and "disarmed" (Col. 2:15) Satan by destroying Satan's legal right to “whip” us as our former overlord and slave- master. Isn’t it so freeing to know that we don’t need to plead with God or cajole or convince Him to heal us. On the contrary, since we are the righteousness of God in Christ (2 Cr. 5:21), we are healed on the basis of the utterly reliable administration of His mighty justice as Judge of the Universe. Healing, or freedom from Satan’s whip, is a perfectly legal and appropriate demand we make to the Judge for enforcement against the Enemy of the rights the Judge Himself has won for us in Christ!! [Note: Please make sure you have followed so far before continuing. If necessary, please re- read the above…] So Why Do Believers Still Get Sick? So, if we have been healed by the stripes or wounds of Jesus, and are no longer legally under the devil's jurisdiction or authority, then why do we still suffer from disease?   Think about it...   It is because the devil is a criminal. Therefore, as with any criminal he does not confine himself to his legal rights. He comes to “steal, kill, and destroy” (Jhn. 10:10) and he will steal our blessings from us and seek to destroy us, and continue to try to get away with whatever he can, until he is stopped by one with authority over him.   Well, guess what? We, you and me, have authority over the devil - Christ gave it to us. (See Mat. 10:1; Lke 9:1; Lke. 10:19) In fact, in His parting words, Jesus stated clearly that this authority over disease and demons is a tell-tale sign of all those who follow Him. (Mark 16:17-18)   And this makes perfect sense, because in a hierarchical universe we have been exalted with Christ to the right hand of God (Eph. 2:6), "far above all other rule, authority, power, and dominion, and every name that is named not only in this age but in the age to come." (Eph. 1:15-21) That means we are seated in a position of authority ‘far above” the devil and all his demons. Really…, we must believe this awesome truth.   So Why Do Some Believers Stay Sick Even After Healing Ministry? Even when the authority given by Christ against disease and unclean spirits is exercised on behalf of the sick or emotionally oppressed exactly as modeled by Jesus and His disciples, and the sick have sincerely repented of all unforgiveness and other sins committed by themselves or their ancestors which have given the Enemy access to them, some people post-ministry still revert over time to their former state of suffering.    Why? I will give you four reasons, and they are similar to the reasons why some who hear the Gospel of salvation do not receive it or cannot hold onto it:   1. Unbelief and the Failure to Persevere - After initial ministry the Enemy  comes in with a flood of lies about the healing minister, the effectiveness of ministry, and the reality of the demonic presence. An individual can experience a glorious deliverance at the hands of the Lord and twenty-four hours later seriously wonder whether he imagined it all, or, more bizarrely, in some case even accuse the deliverance minister of attacking him with demons. Satan is “the father of lies” and he is no slouch at it. He masquerades his thoughts as our reasoning and turns victory into defeat, certainty into confusion, and praise into doubt. The battle is not over after initial ministry - IT IS ON! And if we are not prepared for the onslaught we will fall victim to the “thief” once again and our healing slip like water through our hands. The “promises of God are inherited through faith and perseverance” (Hbr. 6:12) and you will need those in spades if you are to withstand the Enemy’s counter-attack and prevail. 2. The Lie of Unworthiness; The Absence of Expectation of God - Despite the clear wording of Scripture, some of us simply refuse to believe the absolute magnificence of all that God has done for us in sending Christ, because deep down in our hearts we cannot believe that we are "worthy" of so great and complete a rescue that includes physical/emotional healing. We just cannot bring ourselves to believe, given what we know we have done in the past, that a holy God could love us enough to forgive us everything and heal us simply as a gift! We cannot really forgive ourselves so how can we have a real faith and expectation that He will forgive us, and on top of that, heal us despite our sin and apparent unworthiness. We think that we do not deserve to be healed, and so, unfortunately, we reject His healing and are not healed. We focus upon ourselves and our “record” of thoughts and deeds over the course of our life. Like Adam and Eve, we still want to hide from God because we do not believe we have really been completely forgiven and accepted enough to receive this gift. Christ was quite clear: “it shall be done [for us] according to our faith” (Mat. 9:29) and we shall receive that which we ask in prayer believing that what He has promised shall be so. (Mat. 21:22: Jhn. 14:12-14). “Let your lovingkindness, O Lord, be upon us according as we have hoped in you.” Ps. 33:22. We are not to let the Enemy’s lie about our supposed unworthiness destroy the healing hope that is in us because of what Our God has promised.   3. Pride; Lack of Desperation – Our pride may ultimately lead us to take the position that we will only receive healing on “our terms” and “our terms” often require that the Lord overlook the rebellion remaining in our hearts and our desire to still direct our lives. We are not desperate enough, and so we just don’t want to abandon ourselves wholly over to him and let go of our finances to His rule, nor do we want to be told what movies we can see, and we don’t want to quit listening to Jay-Z. If God is going to heal me, the Enemy whispers to me in my deep heart, it is going to be on my terms, and my terms mean that there are areas where I will remain the lord of my life. In other words, we don’t really want to fully repent, admit we were wrong, and give up control. We know innately that if He really does heal us, then He is really GOOD, and there is no longer anything whatsoever that we can in good conscience refuse or withhold from Him, and we just don't want to risk that we will have to give it all up to him - the rebellion, the pride, the sin, and the right to have our own way. In fact, the pride problem can be as simple as refusing to receive any healing that does not come in the expected package - either with sufficient fanfare, drama, or in the precise manner envisioned or desired. We know from the story of Naaman that such a person risks missing out on God’s healing for him. (2 Kings 5) (Interestingly, this same pride can cause us to believe that our sin is too great for Christ’s sacrifice. What we are really saying is that He is not sufficient for us and the plan of salvation is inadequate in our case because our sin is so much more significant, and therefore unforgivable, than the sins of all others washed clean by His blood.) 4. Pharisee-ism; A Refusal to Receive - Many of us believers are still too much like the Pharisees or Elder Son in the story of the Prodigal. We cannot adequately conceive of real mercy. We operate and relate solely on the basis of wages - what we think is justly due us for our conduct. At our core, mercy and grace, dispensed independent of worth, still seem foreign and even repugnant to some of us. And in this context, by mercy, we mean the gift of righteousness, the gift of removing the curse from us and its associated disease and sickness, SO THAT we can receive relief as a matter of God’s justice. Several of Christ’s parables deal with this. See, e.g., the story of the day-laborers in Matthew 20 who were all paid the same amount of wages regardless of when they started work. Clearly, with respect to the late-arriving laborers, the equivalent wage was more of a gift – the landowner’s mercy and goodness in doing this incensed the laborers who worked a full day. Remember the Prodigal's surprise? He could not conceive of such love and forgiveness either. He was hoping just to be accepted as a slave on his father's estate. Instead, He was welcomed home with open arms and feasted on the best of His father's estate. The Prodigal plainly decided to receive “the Good News.” This is also related to pride. We refuse to receive the gift because we cannot understand grace. We think grace would put us in debt, and we are too proud to be in debt to either man or God.   To conclude, even if we fend off the Enemy’s doubts and lies post-initial ministry, we either  remain convinced of our unworthiness, not accepting that this healing is His gift, like the gift of salvation, dispensed regardless of the issue of worthiness, OR, rather than consent to abandoning ourselves to him, we prefer suffering and, yes, even death, to giving up our last remaining vestige of pride, rebellion, and sin, OR, our Pharisee-ism prevents us from fully relating to God and receiving from Him on the basis of His grace. The four reasons are often inter-related and the result is the same in each case – we are either not healed or we cannot apprehend or hold onto our healing.     The Way to Freedom We need to acknowledge our desperation to be healed, because if we are desperate we will conclude that we are finally fed up with and downright mad about both (i) the Enemy’s illegal violation of our right to be free from the whip of torment on the basis of Christ’s suffering for us, and (ii) our own attitudes as outlined above which thwart our receiving God’s promised healing. What we need to do is to affirmatively, and not passively, receive the Good News about what God has done in sending Christ to take the “whip” of disease and torment from us. We must quit evaluating our worthiness apart from our union with Christ. He is our life (Col. 1:27; Gal. 2:21), we are in union with Him (Jhn 17: 21-23) and as such we have His worthiness because we have His righteousness (2 Cr. 5:21) and are legally entitled to receive the best the Father has for us and see the full manifestation of all the Healing Promises in our life. In other words, we must take the focus off ourselves and our unworthiness, and fixate upon Christ and His character and lovingkindness - that's whom we are to "set our minds" on. And then abandon all to Him, and henceforth let go of any remaining vestige of our desire to do it our own way.   And since faith without works is dead according to James, we work out our faith that we have been healed by acting on the authority He has given us and the healing assurances above - we continuously command the Enemy to leave until he has gone and our healing manifests in the natural realm. We persevere against the criminal until we are completely free of his “whip”, because it is indisputably our legal right, while giving thanks and praise to our Father, "a Great King over all the earth". (Ps. 47:1)   Amen! (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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