January 4, 2014
Jim Christianson spent many years as a rather prominent trial attorney in California until the Enemy tried to take his lights out with multiple bites from a brown recluse spider. Those attacks resulted in the loss of his left leg above his knee through three separate amputations, and the loss of his left eye. Added to that was the amputation of his right leg below the knee due to a freak infection following an accident and a broken ankle. Add to that his having been crushed in a grain elevator and having his body compressed into a space of 17 inches with the result that the upper part of his vertebrae was crushed and three discs disintegrated.
For the last few years, Jim has lived in pain and had to deal with a continuous grinding noise every time he tried to turn his neck. He has been unable to sit up straight, and of course even with prosthetics he finds himself pretty much relegated to a wheel chair.
Two weeks ago, Jim flew here from Ketchikan, Alaska to spend some time with us. During the first Sunday gathering in which he was present, our group was able to lay hands on him and minister healing to him. He experienced instant healing in his back, the return of complete mobility and movement with his neck, and healing of some old football injuries in his shoulders.
Last Sunday, we prayed over his eyesight. The next day he reported that for the first time he was able to open the blind eye partially. A visible pupil is forming in the eye-socket and the tear duct has begun to come alive. He has also been experiencing the sensation of feeling both of his feet (neither of which are visible yet), being able to flex his leg muscles and curl his toes. It is a sign of things coming! What Jim is experiencing is not just restorative but re-creative miracles! Praise God, folks! This is what it is all about! This is what Jesus promises in His Word, and this is what we MUST act upon!
Now, let's pick up another facet today of aphiémi healing and talk about the change of character that takes place when we eat regularly and consistently with faith at the Table of the Lord.
Take a look at some of the principles of change that Paul describes in his letters.
II Corinthians 3:18: But we all, with open face beholding as in a glass the glory of the Lord, are changed into the same image from glory to glory, even as by the Spirit of the Lord.
Romans 12:1-3: I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that ye present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, which is your reasonable service. And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God. For I say, through the grace given unto me, to every man that is among you, not to think of himself more highly than he ought to think; but to think soberly, according as God hath dealt to every man the measure of faith.
As I frequently enjoy doing, let me re-translate this from the original Greek text so as to clarify some of the archaic English used in the KJV.
Romans 12:2 (RAC Translation): Do not fashion yourself after the manner of this world: but be transformed – metamorphosed through obedience to the processes of Holy Spirit – by the renovation and restoration of your mind and thoughts so that you will be able to endure the crucible of testing and be approved by God, showing and demonstrating His goodness, being in total agreement with His Word and His Will, coming into His completeness and maturity.
Eating of the Table of the Lord is designed to produce the change of character, personality and makeup of those who partake of His flesh – His Word – and drink of His Spirit. If we eat at His Table and don’t see demonstrable change in ourselves, we are treating His Table as anaxios, commonplace and ordinary – not discerning the Lord’s Body.
Let's talk for a minute about this Greek word, anaxios. This is could literally be translated: unfit. The context of its usage here is to treat irreverently, and more specifically, as incapable of any spiritual consequence or, lacking in any transformative power or ability.
Now, put that in the picture of Jesus' instruction to the Disciples when He said, "Do this in remembrance of me." That was NOT a suggestion, and it was never intended to be some kind of dead, lifeless, ritual. It is also why Paul made clear in his letter to the Ekklesia in Corinth that because some were treating it ritualistically without any thought of spiritual conveyance, "For this cause many are weak and sickly (diseased and impotent) among you, and many sleep (die prematurely)."
Consider, then, just why Jesus made the following statements:
Matthew 6:25, 31-32: "Therefore I say unto you, Take no thought for your life, what ye shall eat, or what ye shall drink; nor yet for your body, what ye shall put on."
"Is not the life more than meat, and the body than raiment? Therefore take no thought, saying, What shall we eat? or, What shall we drink? or, Wherewithal shall we be clothed? (For after all these things do the Gentiles seek:) for your heavenly Father knoweth that ye have need of all these things."
Because the curse of death, disease, sickness, weakness and poverty came upon the human race by virtue of that which was eaten, worrying and fretting over what we eat, what we drink and how we clothe ourselves has become perhaps man’s greatest priority. It stems out of the fear of death. That fear came upon man because of eating the “Knowledge of Evil.”
The Table of the Lord is designed specifically to deliver us from fear – ALL FEAR!
1. Fear drives disease and sickness.
2. Fear drives and compels disobedience to the Word.
3. Fear causes us to compromise our standing in God.
4. Fear prevents us from receiving, taking and possessing all that God has for us.
5. Fear robs us of the Blessing of Abraham.
6. Fear causes us to alter our behavior around family members because of what they might say or how they might react to our liberty in Christ Jesus.
7. Fear is faith gone negative. It has all the power of faith, but it is destructive power – NOT creative power, NOT restorative power, NOT healing power.
We have talked about the following instruction already in this series of Coffee Breaks, but let's revisit Paul's command to Timothy and amplify it a bit.
II Timothy 2:15-17: Study to show thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth. But shun profane and vain babblings: for they will increase unto more ungodliness. And their word will eat as doth a canker: of whom is Hymenaeus and Philetus;
And again, here is my translation and amplification from the Greek.
II Timothy 2:15-17 (RAC Translation): Be instantly responsive to the Lord, making yourself available to Him in the midst of the crucible, a tried and tested laborer who has no fear of being examined – one who, by virtue of God’s testing and the time spent in the crucible with Him, knows the proven Word of Truth.
Stand aloof from, and avoid the untested, untried “word” which comes forth from those who would propagate speculation and create their own doctrines. These profane speculations and so-called “words” are empty babblings which will only serve to advance ungodliness;
And those who spread these doctrines will only yield a gangrene pasture – a source of poison to those who ingest their “word”…..
Eating at the Table of the Lord produces the Word in us – that change and transformation which enables us to endure trial, testing, persecution – all of which work to produce the hardness and strength of character that result from the testing (in the midst of the crucible) when we resist the world.
Notice Paul's last statement (above) in the portion of his letter to Timothy: “And those who spread these doctrines will only yield a gangrene pasture – a source of poison to those who ingest their “word”…..
The poison that comes into our spirits from eating of these speculative doctrines predicated on the untested and untried Word not only contaminates our spirits but also results in physical sickness, decay and even death. Let me take a minute to give you some examples.
Hyper-grace: This is a teaching which blows the concept of God's grace totally out of proportion. Perhaps the biggest crime -- and spiritual poison -- that comes from eating of this doctrine is that it removes the need for the crucible and the testing of the Word.
Ultimate Reconciliation: This is a doctrine straight out of Hell. It is as damnable a heresy as has ever contaminated the body of Christ! It essentially states that there is no such thing as an eternal judgment in Hell; that "a loving God would never keep people in torment for eternity"; and/or that "God would never destroy Lucifer/Satan and subject him to everlasting torment in fire"; and, finally, that "God, in an act of love, will ultimately reconcile Satan to Himself, and everyone -- even those who are in Hell for a time -- will be reconciled to Himself in a final act of salvation."
No Hell: A companion doctrine to that of ultimate reconciliation, this one teaches that Hell is not a place of everlasting torment or destruction and that translators have really screwed up by comingling the concepts of Gehenna, Hades and Sheol (the Hebrew and Greek terms that occur in the original texts).
Perhaps someday I can take the time to explore these heresies in greater detail and explain why so many folks have fallen into such error. The point is that each of these teachings essentially does away with the need for God's people to endure trial, testing, fire, persecution, etc.: in other words, the necessity of the Word being tested in us in the midst of the crucible.
John deals with the need for transformation and testing like this (and again this is my translation and amplification):
John 1:12-13 (RAC Translation): But as many as believed in and responded to Him, to them He gave the authority and ability to become – and be transformed into – begotten children of God, specifically to those who entrust their future existence and well-being by faith in His name, rank, position, character, personality and being; who were begotten, not of flesh and blood, nor because human flesh determined it by its own decision, nor because the mind and intellect of man seized upon it and willed it into existence, but by God as a sovereign act of His Will and determination.
Change and transformation begins at the Table of the Lord, but there is a process of change that goes like this:
1. Change is first initiated because we hear the call and the drawing of Holy Spirit within our beings. Change requires a response of obedience predicated on believing His Word and the voice of His Spirit.
2. Our character and nature begin a process of transformation -- a metamorphosis, if you please -- so that we as spiritual beings can be joined to Him.
3. No act of our flesh is involved in this process.
4. We are begotten by the Spirit in a genetic sense of the word. There is a change of our DNA.
5. Neither strong personality, nor an intellectual decision to become “One” with Him play the slightest part in any transformation which takes place in our life.
6. We cannot “will” ourselves to become a part of the Bride, nor can we “choose” by arbitrary decision or mental acquiescence to participate in anything which the Lord is doing in us and in His people.
7. Everything which occurs as a part of the developmental processes initiated by Jesus Christ through His death and resurrection, does so because Father first spoke it, willed it so, and -- by and through His Spirit -- called those who are undergoing the processes.
8. Everything that Father wills for us and draws us toward must be put to the test so that we can join -- not simply legally, but experientially -- the Lord Jesus Christ as joint-overcomers at the right hand of the Throne of God. (see Revelation 3:21)
Am I making sense? Are you grasping the picture? Do you see why the Word so emphasizes the need for our change of character?
It is no exaggeration to say that our healing and continued health hangs on this change of character and metamorphosis from the old sinful creation to the new. Minus this change, even if we receive healing from some sickness or affliction at the moment, we are candidates for that same sickness or disease to return. This is true simply because the change in us that effects the transformation of our DNA (spiritually and physically) must occur if we are to be free of the sin-and-curse-contaminated DNA associated with our old creation.
Whewww!!! That was a mouthful, wasn't it? Anyway, you get the picture! Once again, the forgiveness and remittance -- aphiémi, if you will -- of our past sins, errors, and blunders, whether deliberate or unintended, plays into our healing and continued health.
Let's wrap up today with something that Paul writes to the Philippians:
"Brethren, I count not myself to have apprehended: but this one thing I do, forgetting those things which are behind, and reaching forth unto those things which are before, I press toward the mark for the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus." (Philippians 3:13-14)
We'll continue next week on this topic but I want to take a bit of a different approach.
Healing conference calls resume Monday, January 6th. 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#.
Happy New Year and Blessings on you!
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