November 8, 2013
Good Morning! The miracles of healing continue throughout each week as we watch what God is doing in the lives of folks who call in to our healing conference calls. High blood pressure, stomach problems, arthritis, hip and leg issues, cancers of multiple varieties, vision problems, hearing issues, psoriasis -- you name it -- folks are being healed and delivered of these things, and a whole lot more.
As I've shared on numerous occasions, many diseases have their origins in one of the three families of fear: the Fear of Evil, or the Fear of Man, or the Fear of Death. Each of these families of fear bring on diseases unique to each type of fear. Perhaps I will do a set of Coffee Breaks dealing with the diseases outlined in Scripture that relate to each family of fear.
That said, we've been seeing folks receive deliverance from fear, and with that deliverance, healing for multiple afflictions in their bodies. Once again I remind you that these calls take place on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays at 7:00 PM Eastern. The call-in information is at the end of this Coffee Break. If you are in need, please join us and let us minister to you.
Let's continue with our discussion from Mark 9:41-50 from the Amplified Version:
"For I tell you truly, whoever gives you a cup of water to drink because you belong to and bear the name of Christ will by no means fail to get his reward. And whoever causes one of these little ones (these believers) who acknowledge and cleave to Me to stumble and sin, it would be better (more profitable and wholesome) for him if a [huge] millstone were hung about his neck, and he were thrown into the sea.
"And if your hand puts a stumbling block before you and causes you to sin, cut it off! It is more profitable and wholesome for you to go into life [that is really worthwhile] maimed than with two hands to go to hell (Gehenna), into the fire that cannot be put out.
"And if your foot is a cause of stumbling and sin to you, cut it off! It is more profitable and wholesome for you to enter into life [that is really worthwhile] crippled than, having two feet, to be cast into hell (Gehenna).
"And if your eye causes you to stumble and sin, pluck it out! It is more profitable and wholesome for you to enter the kingdom of God with one eye than with two eyes to be thrown into hell (Gehenna),
"Where their worm [which preys on the inhabitants and is a symbol of the wounds inflicted on the man himself by his sins] does not die, and the fire is not put out. For everyone shall be salted with fire. Salt is good (beneficial), but if salt has lost its saltness, how will you restore [the saltness to] it? Have salt within yourselves, and be at peace and live in harmony with one another."
We talked about the issue of the hand, and how it relates to disease and sickness in the last Coffee Break. This week let's take up the next area that Jesus addresses from Mark 9:45 -- the issue of one's foot causing you to stumble, and how this specifically relates to one's health and/or healing.
"And if your foot is a cause of stumbling and sin to you, cut it off! It is more profitable and wholesome for you to enter into life [that is really worthwhile] crippled than, having two feet, to be cast into hell (Gehenna)."
In the same way the previous statement concerning the hand was revelatory, this is likewise. The reference to one's foot is a common Hebrew metaphor for that which supports you, your stability, the path of life you choose and walk in. The Hebrew text in the Old Testament uses the word, regel, and the Greek text of the New Testament uses the word, pous. Once again, the translation from either the Hebrew or the Greek represents endurance, strength, stability, reputation, character; it is a unique measure of time (from the standpoint of how long you walk in a certain way, how long you support yourself and endure in something); and finally, it is a picture of direction -- which path you choose to walk in.
Let's take a look at some references throughout the Word which clearly illustrate these descriptions.
Our first illustration comes from Deuteronomy 28:15, 33-35, and while this statement certainly figured under the Law of Moses, there is a spiritual principle I'd like to deal with which is revealed quite clearly.
"But it shall come to pass, if you do not obey the voice of the Lord your God, to observe carefully all His commandments and His statutes which I command you today, that all these curses will come upon you and overtake you:.........A nation whom you have not known shall eat the fruit of your land and the produce of your labor, and you shall be only oppressed and crushed continually. So you shall be driven mad because of the sight which your eyes see. The Lord will strike you in the knees and on the legs with severe boils which cannot be healed, and from the sole of your foot to the top of your head."
Three manifestations of disobedience to the Word of the Lord -- sin, if you will -- appear in this short passage: (1) poverty, continual lack, having the work of your hands destroyed time after time after time; (2) blindness or vision problems; and (3) skin problems and blood issues. The picture of the foot in this instance is that the disease becomes so great you cannot stand or walk -- hence, you have chosen a path of disobedience to what God has instructed you.
Are you seeing the picture? Bear with me, folks! I know there are a lot of folks who will say, "Well, that's just Old Testament. We live under Grace and not under the Law." Sorry, people, but it doesn't work that way! Grace is not an excuse to disobey the Word of the Lord. The Spirit of Grace and Supplications (Zechariah 12:10) -- the fifth of the Seven Spirits of God -- is not just Grace as a standalone part of God's nature: this spirit includes Supplications -- intercession and prayer support -- which enable you to be obedient to the Word of the Lord. Think, for example, of Jesus as our intercessor (see Hebrews 7:25).
My father walked and lived this before our family continually and he used to say to me, "Son, what God orders He pays for." It was a rather simplistic way of saying, "If God directs you to do something, He will enable you to do it whether you think you can or not." I don't know who came up with this cliché, but it is accurate: God doesn't necessarily call those who are able or capable; He enables those whom He calls.
Make sense? What has God instructed you to do? What path or direction has Holy Spirit continually pricked your spirit with? Have you paid attention to His voice or have you chosen not to obey because "that doesn't make sense, and besides there's no way I could possibly do that!" Are you suffering eyesight issues because you ignored the Word of the Lord to you? What about skin or blood disorders?
Let's move on with our examples from the Word.
Consider Proverbs 1:10-16: "My son, if sinners entice thee, consent thou not. If they say, Come with us, let us lay wait for blood, let us lurk privily for the innocent without cause: Let us swallow them up alive as the grave; and whole, as those that go down into the pit: We shall find all precious substance, we shall fill our houses with spoil: Cast in thy lot among us; let us all have one purse: My son, walk not thou in the way with them; refrain thy foot from their path: For their feet run to evil, and make haste to shed blood."
This illustration is about as obvious as anything can be. It is a description of one's foot participating in wicked activities, taking advantage of other folks, using conniving, manipulation and trickery to steal or cheat them out of their money or goods (legally, of course -- Riiiiggghhhttt!) in order to get rich.
But there is one more aspect of this that many Christians miss entirely, and this one will take many well-meaning folks by surprise. It is one of the reasons why so many folks are poverty stricken today, and why so many people live sub-standard lives, health-wise.
Look at the warning that comes from the Lord in this statement: 'Let us all have one purse." Do you understand the significance of this? This is the personification of wealth distribution -- taking from those who have the most and (in theory) distributing it so that everyone has an equal share. When you read it in the Hebrew text it becomes even more clear.
The phrase, "one purse" comes from two Hebrew words, "'echad" (meaning: to unite, to collectively make as one) and "kiys" (meaning a pot, a cup, a bag, a purse -- a place to gather one's funds together). Thus, you have one person who in fact is a thief gathering from everyone into a single collection. The thief profits from the fact that the funds are at his disposal, because of the "fees" he takes for himself as the administrator of the fund, while he distributes the remainder as he sees fit in a supposedly equitable fashion to "everyone." In case you hadn't already figured it out, the Lord is warning us against the evils of socialism and collectivism.
The end result is that while the thief lives in his abundance, the rest is supposedly distributed in a way that no one really has quite enough. The warning that the Lord gives us is, "Refrain thy foot from their path: For their feet run to evil, and make haste to shed blood."
Right! As Jesus put it, "The thief cometh not, but for to steal (everything you've got), and to kill (and cause you to die prematurely), and to destroy (your health and your livelihood): I am come that they might have (and enjoy) life, and that they might have it (in so much) more (abundance that it overflows and overflows) abundantly." (John 10:10 with my additions)
By now, you're getting a pretty graphic picture. People who subscribe to the socialist philosophy believe the lie of Satan, and their health and welfare ultimately suffer as a consequence.
Let's take a different approach and see what happens with those whose foot is secure in God. Consider a portion of Psalm 91:
"Because thou hast made the LORD, which is my refuge, even the most High, thy habitation; There shall no evil befall thee, neither shall any plague come nigh thy dwelling. For he shall give his angels charge over thee, to keep thee in all thy ways. They shall bear thee up in their hands, lest thou dash thy foot against a stone. Thou shalt tread upon the lion and adder: the young lion and the dragon shalt thou trample under feet. Because he hath set his love upon me, therefore will I deliver him: I will set him on high, because he hath known my name. He shall call upon me, and I will answer him: I will be with him in trouble; I will deliver him, and honour him. With long life will I satisfy him, and show him my salvation."
Here is the picture of someone whose foot is securely planted in the ways, the plans, the destiny that God has chosen for them. The promise prophesied in this instance is that
(1) no plague of any kind will come near you or your family.
(2) Angels will be your protection.
(3) If there is a danger that you will make a misstep and get off the path you are walking in, or if the Enemy places a stone of stumbling in your path, the angels will pick you up and keep you from stumbling or injuring yourself.
(4) You will have the ability to walk over (and take on) lions [a metaphor for those who roar against you],
(5) and adders [a metaphor for those who twist your words against you], as well as
(6) trampling underfoot the young lions [a metaphor for walled communities who set themselves against you] and
(7) dragons [this is a fascinating metaphor for kings or governors or leaders who set themselves up with laws, rules, commands or legislation which targets you as part of the household of God].
Like it so far? Thought so! But Wait! He's not done with His promises!
(8) Whenever you are in danger, the Lord will not only take you out of harm's way and He will place you above your enemies' reach where they can't touch you.
(9) You'll be able to address Him directly with your prayers and requests, knowing that you will have immediate audience with Him and the answers to your requests.
(10) As always, all believers and particularly those who walk in an intimate relationship with the Lord Jesus Christ will suffer persecution, affliction, trials and adversity, but His promise is that He will arm and equip you with everything you'll need to strip your enemies of their power and their power base.
(11) Even in the midst of the ongoing warfare and adversity, God will honor you and display His Glory in you in such a way that your enemies will know that He loves you and covers you!
Here's the last one of His promises in Psalm 91 to those whose foot is firmly established in the ways, the plans and purposes and destiny God has chosen:
(12) He will give you prolonged, satisfying and rewarding life -- never mind what the doctors say, never mind what science says, never mind the traditions of men, never mind what you've seen and heard in the past -- AND He will visibly demonstrate to you His deliverance, His protection, His health, His prosperity (try that one on for size!), His salvation and His assistance in every situation!
Let's go back to Mark 9:42 (with my amplifications):
"And whoever causes one of these little ones (these believers) who acknowledge and cleave to Me to stumble and sin (by the way in which you allow your foot -- the path you choose in opposition to God's specific direction), it would be better (more profitable and wholesome) for him if a [huge] millstone were hung about his neck, and he were thrown into the sea."
Is this picture from Mark 9 becoming more and more clear to you?
I said it before and I'll say it again. Jesus is referring to offenses -- offenses that we bring toward others, as well as seizing the opportunities to do even the littlest thing for someone, something as tiny as just bringing a cup of water to someone who thirsts and bringing it in the name, the character, the life, the makeup of the Lord Jesus Christ.
As representatives of the Lord Jesus Christ, and as ambassadors and representatives of the Kingdom of God, every action and every reaction we have or take is a reflection on Him. Even drawing from Psalm 91, He promises to reward every individual who performs even the littlest task when it is done in, by and through Him. Believe me, when He says He will reward you, that's exactly what He will do!
I really have only touched the surface of this part of the discussion. We're still talking about aphiémi -- the forgiveness, eradication and permanent elimination of offenses -- and I haven't even gotten to that aspect of this word in this discussion about the foot offending. That's where we will pick this up next week.
I'll try to get next week's Coffee Break out a day earlier. Rich Warren and I have a men's retreat where we are leading worship, and that will take us away all next weekend.
A reminder: 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#.
Blessings on you!
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