November 1, 2013
As you all know, we've been doing these world-wide healing conference calls on Mondays, Wednesday's and Fridays. On one of these Coffee Breaks a few weeks ago I mentioned how the Lord had healed George Robinson's shoulder and -- from what we can see -- literally gave him a new shoulder out of the "parts room" in Heaven. It has happened again, and this time with George's heart.
We have mentioned on a few occasions that George needed healing for his heart and that he has (in times past) suffered several heart attacks, two or three of which resulted in his flat-lining. On each occasion the Lord has raised George back to life. The problem has been, however, that his heart was still in need of being replaced with a new one.
Early this week, George called us and he was in serious trouble again with his heart. We went to prayer over the issue, and this time we called for a new heart for George out of the parts room in Heaven. He called me a couple of days ago and said he woke up feeling really energized. He decided to go to the health club and do a work out. After a couple hours or so of weight lifting, running on the treadmill and doing a number of other exercises, he went home and began cleaning out the pond in his back yard. Besides cleaning out dead leaves, he had to pull grass and weeds from the pond (and of course, that takes some effort).
The catch here is that the pond is down a hill in his back yard. In times past, every time he had climbed that hill back up to the house, he suffered shortness of breath and even chest pains on occasion. This time George climbed the hill without a single symptom of breathing issues and was still full of energy when he got back up to the house. He called me and his reaction was, "It's so cool!" Riiiiggghhhhttt! See what God does? What He did for George, and what He's done for me, He will most certainly do for you. Join us on our healing calls. (See the number below.)
Let's continue where we left off last week and begin with 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."
Jesus is getting at something here that many Christians seem to miss out on. So many folks suffer from chronic diseases and ailments. They ask for prayer for healing, they read the promises in the Word relating to healing and often quote those scriptures to themselves. Many of these same people understand the concept of speaking the Word and having a proper confession, and yet complete healing seems to be just beyond their grasp.
Sadly, lots of folks give up when they don't receive their healing after repeated prayers and "proper confessions," and many fall prey to the lie of Satan which says, "Well, it just must not be God's will for you to be healed. You just need to bear your cross (spoken, of course, in a whiny, religious voice). After all, let's not forget Paul's thorn in the flesh."
Wheww!!! What a pile of religious horse puckey!
Jesus most certainly did not suffer all those stripes -- stripes I might add that left him looking like nothing more than a mass of bloody and ripped flesh and almost unrecognizable as a human being -- because he wanted some folks to continue on in their sicknesses, diseases and infirmity! He paid for all of it, PERIOD!! There's no such thing as it being necessary for some folks to be sick and some folks to be healed. What a lie!
Well, let's begin breaking down these statements that Jesus made and show you the relationship between each of these comments and our ability to receive and retain our healing for the long term. I'm going to move back and forth between these verses of scripture, but let me begin with the statements in Verse 43.
"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."
This is a revelatory statement. The reference to one's hand is a reference to the way one conducts business. The Hebrew text in the Old Testament uses the word, yamiyn, and the Greek text of the New Testament uses the word, cheir. In both instances, the translation from Hebrew and Greek is a representation of power; it represents an instrument or a means of conducting business, and it is a representation of one's strength.
Scripture is full of examples of the use of the hand, and especially the right hand. Take a quick look at some statements David makes in the Psalms.
Psalm 20:6: Now know I that the Lord saveth His anointed; He will hear him from His holy Heaven with the saving strength of His right hand.
Psalm 21:8: Thine hand shall find out all thine enemies: thy right hand shall find out those that hate thee.
Then we have this contrasting illustration.
Psalm 26:9-10: Gather not my soul with sinners, nor my life with bloody men: in whose hands is mischief, and their right hand is full of bribes.
Now take a look at some references in which the hand is an example of business endeavor.
Psalm 78:54: And He brought them to the border of His sanctuary, even to this mountain which His right hand had purchased.
Psalm 80:15-17: And the vineyard which thy right hand hath planted, and the branch that thou madest strong for thyself. It is burned with fire, it is cut down: they perish at the rebuke of thy countenance. Let thy hand be upon the man of thy right hand, upon the son of man whom thou madest strong for thyself.
This is a tiny fraction of several hundred such illustrations scattered throughout the Word. Are you beginning to see the picture? Do you understand what Jesus is saying when he makes reference to one's hand putting a stumbling block before them and causing them to sin?
Let's go back to Mark 9:41-42:
"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."
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. 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!
There is a corollary to this, however, and it is the opposite side of this equation. If anyone who represents the Lord Jesus Christ causes a "little one" -- a relatively new believer -- to stumble and/or give up in their spiritual walk, there are huge consequences. As Jesus puts it, it would be more profitable for the Kingdom of God that the one who offends or causes someone else -- whether that "someone" is a friend, an acquaintance, a stranger, or even a member of their own family -- to stumble and fall in their walk with the Lord, that person is better off having a millstone hung about their neck so that they are weighted down, cast into the sea and drowned.
Pretty strong, isn't it? But we live under Grace, don't we? True, but Grace is not an excuse or justification, or some reason why we should escape the consequences of our offenses.
Let me take this illustration the next step. Pay attention to something that Paul writes to the Ekklesia in Corinth. He says this within the context of eating and drinking at the Table of the Lord. (See I Corinthians 11:28-30 with my additions)
"But let a man examine himself, and so let him eat of that bread, and drink of that cup. For he that eateth and drinketh unworthily (carelessly), eateth and drinketh damnation to himself, not discerning (not recognizing those among you who are a part of) the Lord’s body (the body of Christ). For this cause many are weak (suffer from infirmities) and sickly (with diseases) among you, and many sleep (die prematurely)."
Let's try this one more time but fully amplified from the Greek text: "But let a man place himself for examination in the crucible by eating of that bread and drinking of that cup, because he that eats and drinks treating the bread and the cup as commonplace, incapable and unfit to accomplish in him [that for which Christ died on the Cross] eats and drinks judgment to himself, not separating or discriminating between that which is ordinary and the Lord's body. For this reason many are weak, sickly, infirm, diseased and poverty-stricken, and many die prematurely."
Now do you get the picture? Good! Then let's get to the offense of the hand and re-do Jesus' statement, clarifying it by (greatly) amplifying the Hebrew metaphor.
"And if the way you conduct business, if the way you exercise your influence and power on a personal level causes you to err or depart from a walk or a way of life that is obedient and responsive to the Lord Jesus Christ, cut off that business; cease in the way you exercise your influence or authority. It is far more profitable for you as a member of the body of Christ to go through life without being in that business or living your life in a manner that draws attention to your power and authority and position, and to live a life that is productive in Christ through your place of weakness rather than live an unproductive life spiritually and lose everything you've got in God heading into the fires of destruction, and suffering a burning that you cannot quench."
OK, I know that's a bit expansive, but it is important that you understand the significance of what Jesus is getting at.
We're talking about healing in this discussion, so let's get to the crux of why Jesus is focusing on your "hand" as the symbol of the way you conduct business, and the way you exercise power, authority or influence, and how this relates to chronic disease or infirmity.
"The burning that you cannot quench" is a picture of a disease that is like a fire inside you that consumes your flesh. The text of the Amplified Version we began this discussion with describes it as "the 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."
We are talking about infirmities and diseases that men and women bring upon themselves by their own sins. These are the sicknesses, the places of weakness, the diseases and chronic afflictions that people pray over, they declare over, they attempt to speak the word of faith, they agree that "by His stripes we are healed," and yet the diseases stay on and on and on without seeming remedy of any kind.
Is there a remedy? Is there healing and restoration from these chronic illnesses? Yes, there is! That healing begins with true repentance, and repentance is NOT saying to the Lord, "I'm sorry." Repentance is turning away from that which brought you to this place. Repentance is a turning back. The Greek term, metanoeo, means: to think differently, to change the way you have thought about things, to reconsider and do things differently.
The application of repentance in this instance is to cut off that area or type of business you've been involved in and with, or to begin to conduct business according to Kingdom principles. Remember the rich publican, Zacchaeus? The guy that had cheated folks in business? When Jesus saw him sitting in the tree, He said to him, "Zacchaeus, come on down. I'm coming over to your house today."
Naturally all the religious folks standing around began to criticize Jesus for associating with a guy whose business ethics were less than acceptable. Here's how Luke describes what happened next:
"And Zacchaeus stood, and said unto the Lord; Behold, Lord, the half of my goods I give to the poor; and if I have taken anything from any man by false accusation, I restore him fourfold. And Jesus said unto him, This day is salvation come to this house, forsomuch as he also is a son of Abraham. For the Son of man is come to seek and to save that which was lost." (Luke 19:8-10)
THAT, folks was true repentance. And with that repentance came Jesus' aphiémi. Zacchaeus' past was eradicated. He was a different businessman from that day forward.
Well, we've only begun to scratch the surface on this. Next week we'll take up the picture of one's foot offending them and draw some pictures for you from the Word.
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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