April 11, 2014

Just a couple of quick reminders before we get started today: Folks have been asking about the conference calls for our Sunday gatherings, and if the messages are being recorded for later playback., Once again, the number to call in for participation is (559) 726-1300, Access code: 308640#. To listen to the previous Sunday's recording, change the last digits of the call-in number from 1300 to 1399.

The same applies to our Monday-Wednesday-Friday Healing Conference calls. That number is (805) 399-1000, Access code: 124763#. To listen to the previously recorded call, change the 1000 to 1099. In both cases the access codes are the same.

Talking about Paul's thorn last week, and the crazy doctrine about our having to "suffer diseases and injuries" in order to make up for some deficiency in the price that Jesus paid on our behalf brought a number of questions. I need to address those before we get too far along in today's discussion.

As I noted last week, when Paul cried out to the Lord in his frustration, God's answer to him was simple and to the point: "My grace is sufficient for you." Don't you get it? The Lord wasn't telling Paul to put up with it, He was saying to Paul, "Stand up! Acquit yourself like a son of God and joint-heir with Jesus Christ! My grace for you has supplied everything you need to exercise the needed authority to get rid of the demonic harassment!"

Paul didn't lack any needed authority to deal with the harassment of the Enemy, and he sure didn't need to put up with this "thorn!" Jesus made the very comprehensive statement prior to His departure to Heaven: "All authority has been given to me in Heaven and in Earth; go ye, therefore, and make disciples of all nations..." (See Matthew 28:18-19)

The commission to go forth -- even as Paul was commissioned as "apostolos": one sent forth with delegated authority and power -- came with all the authority "in Heaven and in Earth" to back him up. The fact that Satan had sent a messenger to "buffet" him (more on that word in a minute) was certainly a nuisance but not something that Paul wasn't equipped to deal with.

Consider how Paul dealt with the Word of the Lord to him. (See II Corinthians 12:7-10)

"Most gladly therefore will I rather glory in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me. Therefore I take pleasure in infirmities, in reproaches, in necessities, in persecutions, in distresses for Christ’s sake: for when I am weak, then am I strong."

Are you seeing it? Paul realized that the power and authority of the Lord Jesus Christ was resident in him, even in the midst of his infirmities, his attacks from Satan and the buffeting he was receiving. He didn't need to put up with these attacks. The grace of God operating in him included the "grace gifts" -- the charismata -- which more than enabled him to rebuke the Enemy and cast him off.

He could say, therefore, with absolute confidence and joy, "I take pleasure in infirmities (astheneia -- feebleness, infirmity, weakness), in reproaches (hubris -- insult, insolence, harm), in necessities (anagké -- constraints, restrictions, times of distress), in persecutions (diogmos -- being pursued after to render harm or injury), in distresses (stenochoria -- narrowness of room, being squeezed tightly; colloq: no room to move aboutfor Christ’s sake: for when I am weak [in and of myself], then am I strong [through the grace of the Lord Jesus Christ]."


What Paul is saying more literally is that when his flesh failed him (whether it was physical weakness, mental or emotional distresses), then his access to the authority and power of the Lord Jesus Christ enabled him to make plain to the world around him that the Glory and God is not dependent on the strength of human flesh. He could, therefore, rejoice when he was under attack because it was then that the Lord was going to show forth praise and Glory.

I hope I'm making this clear! The Glory of God is not dependent on either the strength or the weakness of human flesh. The Glory of God more often displays through us when we feel the weakest or least capable of accomplishing that which He has given us to do. I'll share a personal story about this momentarily.

Let me emphasize one other thing while we're on this topic. God DOES NOT bring sickness, disease or infirmity upon us so He can teach us something. If we allow Him to do so, He will demonstrate His grace, His love, His Glory AND His authority through us when we are under attack. The apostle Paul describes this situation perfectly in Romans 8:28. Here's how the KJV reads:

"And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose."

Now, if you don't mind, here's my amplified translation from the Greek text.

"And we see and know that everything [taking place in our lives] cooperates [with, and through God] for our benefit, [more specifically] for those who {absolutely] love God and are the invited, appointed and anointed according to [and in direct proportion to] His purposes, plans and declared intentions."

You get it, don't you? All things most certainly DO NOT work together for good for everyone! They only work for our good and our benefit WHEN we love God and walk with Him in an uncompromised and committed relationship, AND have been called, responded to that calling, then appointed, prepared by Holy Spirit, and anointed for that to which He has called us.

That's a mouthful, isn't it? But you can certainly see the clear difference. Things don't always work together for good for folks -- even when those folks have been "saved." There's a huge difference between being "saved" and walking in a real love relationship with the Lord!

Getting back to Paul's "thorn in the flesh," he could respond in joy to the buffeting of the Enemy because God had given him the grace, and with that grace, the authority to deal with Satan. God didn't bring that buffeting upon him, but neither did God prevent it! (I'll talk more about that in a minute.) What God made clear to Paul was that he didn't have to put up with it, but he was going to have to exercise the grace God had given him. God's grace was more than sufficient to deal with it!

Now, let's talk about this term, "buffet," for a minute. Paul's complaint to the Lord was that a messenger of Satan had been sent to "buffet" him. This word is a translation of the Greek, kolaphizo, which comes from the root word, kolazo. J. H. Thayer tells us that this word means: to curtail, to restrict, to inflict [torment], to pester and distract by rapping (with one's knuckles). Nothing in either the word, kolaphizo, or its root, kolazo, implies sickness or disease. Paul was NOT being "graced" with some kind of sickness or disease. He was being pestered by some demonically-driven individual to distract him and keep him from preaching the Gospel.

We actually have a picture of such an event taking place with Paul in the city of Philippi (Acts 16:16-18): "And it came to pass, as we went to prayer, a certain damsel possessed with a spirit of divination met us, which brought her masters much gain by soothsaying: The same followed Paul and us, and cried, saying, These men are the servants of the most high God, which show unto us the way of salvation. And this did she many days. But Paul, being grieved, turned and said to the spirit, I command thee in the name of Jesus Christ to come out of her. And he came out the same hour."

This is an exact picture of what Paul contended with. The difference was that -- in this instance -- the buffeting spirit came in the form of a young woman who was demonized by a Spirit of Divination. (This is a spirit which leads many people astray. It masquerades today in fortune tellers, in astrology, in tarot cards, and a host of other devices which lead people away from God's destiny in their lives.)

Paul certainly didn't need someone with a Spirit of Divination proclaiming he and the company of brethren with him as the "servants of the Most High God." Had it continued, that spirit could have led many of the new converts away from the Lord with false prophecies and demonically camouflaged guidance. Whatever Paul was experiencing with the buffeting he was suffering, God had given him the same authority to expel from his presence that he exercised with the young woman in Philippi.

While we're on this topic (and it is clear that I'm not going to continue today with where we left off last week -- that'll have to wait), let's address another issue that plagues the body of Christ today. And, by the way, if it seems like I'm really off-track with our discussion on aphiémi healing, this is germane -- both to the topic of healing, AND to the concept of aphiémi -- total eradication so that it never existed in the first place. Follow this closely.

When Jesus suffered the 39 stripes to his body -- 39 stripes, incidentally, with a cat-o-nine tails tipped with lead tips, making the effective stripes to his body, 351 -- it left him with barely any clear flesh on his body. There was scarcely a square inch of his body that wasn't ripped open, bruised, bloody and festering. Add to that the crown of two-plus-inch thorns shoved into his scalp and his skull.

Got the picture clearly in your mind? Good!

Now, explain to me just how any sickness, any disease, any suffering you might endure is necessary ON TOP OF EVERYTHING THAT JESUS ENDURED so that you "can learn whatever it is God is trying to teach you?" That is a heresy that has pervaded the body of Christ for centuries, and it is demonic! But it gets worse!!

There are folks who actually believe that God does this to them! Really? If we believe that nonsense, then we are crucifying the Lord Jesus Christ afresh. We are effectively putting Him back on the Cross. We are nullifying the price He paid on our behalf.

Consider a couple of scriptures.

Isaiah expressed it like this (See Isaiah 53:5): "But he was wounded for our transgressions, he was bruised for our iniquities: the chastisement of our peace was upon him; and with his stripes we are healed."

Let me amplify this verse for you out of the Hebrew text: "But He was broken and profaned for our rebellion, our revolt, our apostasy and our [religious] quarrel against God; He was crushed, oppressed and smitten, and (emotionally) broken into pieces for our perversity, our evil, our mischief, sins and faults; the breaking and ridiculing of our peace, our welfare, our prosperity, our health and our safety was upon Him; and with His bloodied and blue wounds we are cured, mended, repaired and made thoroughly whole."

Here's how Peter put it in his first letter to the body of Christ (I Peter 2:21-24): "For even hereunto were ye called: because Christ also suffered for us, leaving us an example, that ye should follow his steps: Who did no sin, neither was guile found in his mouth: Who, when he was reviled, reviled not again; when he suffered, he threatened not; but committed himself to him that judgeth righteously: Who his own self bare our sins in his own body on the tree, that we, being dead to sins, should live unto righteousness: by whose stripes ye were healed."

The first part of this translation out of the KJV really misses it. It draws a picture that I believe, when added to several of Paul's statements in his various letters, somehow has caused folks to come up with a doctrine that we are supposed to endure sickness, disease, infirmity, etc., because "Jesus did it, and we are supposed to follow in His footsteps." Nothing could be further from the truth!


When do you ever see Jesus sick? When do you ever see Jesus fighting against disease or infirmity? If that were the case, then He wouldn't have been able to take all sickness, disease, infirmity, pain and suffering to the Cross and put it to death, ONCE AND FOR ALL! Let's not forget something, folks! Sickness, disease, infirmity, etc., etc., etc., are all a part of the curse that came upon the human race when Adam ate of the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil! Sickness, disease and infirmity are all a part of death and dying -- and Jesus already kept our appointment with death!


I'll pick up at this point next week and finish this discussion, showing you the actual picture drawn in the Greek text.


If you are in need of healing please join our prayer conference calls on either Monday, Wednesday or Friday of each week at 7:00 PM Eastern. Once again, the number to call is (805) 399-1000. Then enter the access code: 124763#. Let us minister to your need for healing!


Blessings on you!







Regner A. Capener

Sunnyside, Washington 98944

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