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Archive for May, 2014

Thy Will Be Done: Sickness, Faith, and the God Who Heals

May 29, 2014 1 comment

ThyWillBeDone-4When Jesus performed signs and wonders, he was proclaiming the gospel against suffering… We must not one-sidedly emphasize the cross and forgiveness, while ignoring the resurrection and the overcoming of our misery [through healing and deliverance]. It is Satan’s trick to try and make us waver so that the Savior does not receive a full and complete hearing… There were times when very few sinners came, only sick people. And Jesus welcomed them all. Oh, that the nations would hear the good news! That the sick would come, and that sinners would come – all are welcome! (Christoph Friedrich Blumhardt)

Compassion sees only the need of others; it omits all criticism and judging. Jesus never gave the sick a sermon first, or first examined their inner condition; he never asked them what sins they might have committed to merit this sickness. This would not only have been harsh but would have hurt the sick even more.

Why then are we so quick to judge the sick, examining them to find out whether they are remorseful enough or worth praying for? Jesus said, “Whoever comes to me, I will not reject.” This is why it is always wrong to think that illness is “a blessing in disguise.” What is more beneficial for us – sickness or health? The Savior certainly did not think that the sick were better off than the healthy, otherwise he would not have healed or bid his disciples to heal the sick. (Johann Christoph Blumhardt)

Jesus went around doing good and healing all who were under the power of the devil, because God was with him. (Acts 10:38)

Jesus did not use or require any formalities when people came to him for help. With one word help was there. He also did not withdraw somewhere, in a high and mighty way, and wait for people to come and ask for help. He went around and came to all those who were miserable and desolate, those suffering in body and soul, and called to them, “Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest” (Matt. 11:28). He offered himself as the Savior who would help those whom no one else would help.

Has he changed any? Certainly not! He traveled from place to place doing good and healing just so that all subsequent generations could trust him, and so that all who are miserable and afflicted might always know where to turn for help. Jesus still does wonderful things, “going around doing good and healing,” even if it is in a more inconspicuous way. He draws close to anyone in need and pain so that we, too, might experience firsthand that he is the one who knows how to help us. Still today Jesus works good and heals. The question to us is: Will we come to him? (Johann Christoph Blumhardt)

The enemy often wreaks havoc on our feelings; but he can’t touch your faith. The devil cannot own your faith – unless you give in. Sometimes you will feel that you have no faith,and yet deep down you still believe. Believe then in your faith. Things will get better. Christ is there, even if he is somewhat hidden. Don’t even be afraid of hell – he is there too. Anyone who sighs and longs will not be lost. It is for our sake that the Lord reveals his glory. Remember, the Savior intercedes on our behalf (Rom. 8:34) and cannot help but intervene with his assistance if you have a longing in your heart. (Johann Christoph Blumhardt)

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Proclaim the kingdom of God AND perform healing.

May 22, 2014 3 comments

Healing_the_Blind_Man

And He called the twelve together, and gave them power and authority over all the demons and to heal diseases. And He sent them out to proclaim the kingdom of God and to perform healing. (Luke 9:1-2)

“Jesus while He was upon the earth healed the sick and raised the dead, not merely to typify a spiritual healing and quickening, but to prove that He was indeed the promised Deliverer by destroying the works of the devil, and also to give a fore-taste and a shadow of the ultimate effect of His redemption upon the whole man, body and soul.

And thus we find in the New Testament that the healing of the sick and the preaching of the Gospel of the Kingdom are almost always co-joined, and are so spoken of as though they meant the same thing.” (Thos Erskine; Brazen Serpent, p. 272)

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My fellow “7th trumpet rapturist” – Isaac Watts.

May 14, 2014 1 comment

isaac watts

Then the seventh angel sounded; and there were loud voices in heaven, saying, “The kingdom of the world has become the kingdom of our Lord and of His Christ; and He will reign forever and ever.” (Rev. 11:15)

Fellow believers rarely believe me when I tell them that I am a “7th trumpet rapturist”. This comes from the book of Revelation. Actually, you will be convinced yourself if you read chapters 10-11 in succession. You can imagine how blessed I was when I came upon this hymn by Isaac Watts (d. 1748) “Let The Seventh Angel Sound On High”.

Watts was credited with some 650 hymns. Of course you have heard of “Joy to the World” and “When I Survey the Wondrous Cross”. Most people don’t know it but Watts wrote the words of “Joy to the World” (taken from Psalm 98) as a hymn glorifying Christ’s triumphant return at the end of the age! Can I ask you with this thought in mind to read this hymn and then read Revelation 10-11?

In Him,
Jeff Gilbertson

Let The Seventh Angel Sound On High
Let shouts be heard through all the sky;
Kings of the earth, with glad accord,
Give up your kingdoms to the Lord.

Almighty God, Thy power assume,
Who wast, and art, and art to come:
Jesus, the Lamb who once was slain,
Forever live, forever reign!

The angry nations fret and roar,
That they can slay the saints no more
On wings of vengeance flies our God,
To pay the long arrears of blood.

Now must the rising dead appear;
Now the decisive sentence hear;
Now the dear martyrs of the Lord
Receive an infinite reward.

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Wherever the apostles walked there was healing.

May 6, 2014 1 comment

“I do not possess silver and gold, but what I do have I give to you: In the name of Jesus Christ the Nazarene—walk!”

“I do not possess silver and gold, but what I do have I give to you: In the name of Jesus Christ the Nazarene—walk!”

“Luke cannot tell the story of the early church without constantly stumbling upon the healing ministry of the church. As with Jesus, what mattered was the proclamation, but ‘signs and wonders’ followed. Wherever the apostles walked there was healing.”
(Edwin Robertson)

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Satan has ever been seeking to thwart God by imitation.

320px-Tissot_The_Rod_of_Aaron_Devours_the_Other_RodsWhen Aaron wrought wonders with his rod “they also did in like manner with their enchantments.” Miracle was matched by miracle, and wonder by wonder, up to the point where God triumphed by confounding the deceivers.

So has it been with the Church of Christ all through her history. Satan has ever been seeking to thwart God by imitation rather than by denial… He will approach as near the truth as possible, and still keep to his lie…Let us not abandon our wheat field because the devil has sowed tares in it. The fact that he sows tares, is his testimony to the genuineness of the wheat.
(A. J. Gordon)

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