From The Archives: ‘Accept the responsibility for your freedom!’

For the next few weeks, leading up to our 10th anniversary as a church, we’re going to look back on (and post here) some of the more significant things that we’ve studied…

Many of the posts (like the one that follows) is directly from Pastor Jermin’s notes.

RFBC Meeting Notes: 03/23/2008

Accept the responsibility for your freedom!

  • Accept responsibility for the fact that you have been set free.

Galatians 5: 16 I say then: Walk in the Spirit, and you shall not fulfill the lust of the flesh. 17 For the flesh lusts against the Spirit, and the Spirit against the flesh; and these are contrary to one another, so that you do not do the things that you wish. 18 But if you are led by the Spirit, you are not under the law.

READ: Exodus 16:32- through 17:6  then Numbers 33:11-14 (ASV)

11 And they journeyed from the Red Sea, and encamped in the wilderness of Sin. 12 And they journeyed from the wilderness of Sin, and encamped in Dophkah (Hebrew: דָפְקָה means knocking.)  13 And they journeyed from Dophkah, and encamped in Alush. 14 And they journeyed from Alush, (Hebrew: אָלוּש means leaven or crowding ׁ) and encamped in Rephidim, The name “Rephidim” (Hebrew: רְפִידִם) may mean supports.) where was no water for the people to drink.

  • There is a lot here, but the things we will deal with are:
  1. God took them from the place of Idolatry, (things built on lies, false gods) to Knocking (seeking, a quest, unsurety) to Leavening (to make light by fermentation, separation, preparation) to Support. (foundation, strength)
  2. The process took time
  3. This passage points to Christ, in that: 1 Cor 10:4 (the rock is Jesus) John 19:34  But one of the soldiers with a spear pierced his side, and forthwith came there out blood and water.
  4. God gave the tools to remember, but they chose to forget Because they let their immediate circumstances divert them from the larger situation/goals/objectives  (v.3)

How often do we do that? Why does it seem that in times of difficulty, we resort to the comfortable, destructive behaviors first…

  • What does it mean to be free? Freedom is defined as:
  1.  The condition of being free of restraints.
  2. Liberty of the person from slavery, detention, or oppression.
  3. Exemption from an unpleasant or onerous condition: freedom from want.   
  4. The capacity to exercise choice; free will: We have the freedom to do as we please all afternoon   
  5. The right to unrestricted use; full access:
  6. The right of enjoying all of the privileges of membership or citizenship

The Three Edwards

Thomas Costain’s history book The Three Edwards includes the story of the life of Raynald III, a fourteenth-century duke in the country of Burgundy (now called Belgium). Raynald III was grossly overweight, and he was commonly called by his Latin nickname, “Crassus,” which means, “Fat.”

After a violent quarrel, Raynald’s younger brother Edward led a successful revolt against him. Edward captured his brother Raynald, but he did not kill him, as was the custom. Instead, he built a room around Raynald in the Nieukerk castle and promised him he could regain his freedom, his title and his property as soon as he was able to leave the room.

This would not have been difficult for most people since the room had several windows and a door of near-normal size, and none was locked or barred. The problem was Raynald’s size. To regain his freedom, he needed to lose weight. But Edward knew his older brother, and each day he sent a variety of delicious foods. Instead of dieting his way out of prison, Raynald grew fatter.

When Duke Edward was accused of cruelty, he had an available answer: “My brother is not a prisoner. He may leave when he so wills.”

Raynald stayed in that room for ten years and wasn’t released until after his brother Edward died in battle. By then his health was so ruined that he died within a year . . . a prisoner of his own appetite. – Dave Wilkenson

 

  • What can we learn from Raynald?

His freedom kept him a prisoner, because he would not discipline Himself.

We are free to do a great many things, the question always is: SHOULD WE? How often do we resort to the familiar to our own detriment, when the promise that lays before us is so much better, simply because we do not want to do the work, or we are afraid, or it’s hard, or (your excuse here) ?

Paul put it like this, in his 1st letter to the Corinthians:

1 Corinthians 6:12 All things are lawful unto me, but all things are not expedient: all things are lawful for me, but I will not be brought under the power of any.

10:23 All things are lawful for me, but all things are not expedient: all things are lawful for me, but all things edify not.

  • God’s provision…..Deuteronomy 29:1, 16-19, 29 –  

1 These are the words of the covenant which Yahweh commanded Moses to make with the children of Israel in the land of Moab, besides the covenant which he made with them in Horeb.

16  (for you know how we lived in the land of Egypt, and how we came through the midst of the nations through which you passed;

17 and you have seen their abominations, and their idols, wood and stone, silver and gold, which were among them);

18 lest there should be among you man, or woman, or family, or tribe, whose heart turns away this day from Yahweh our God, to go to serve the gods of those nations; lest there should be among you a root that bears gall and wormwood;

19 and it happen, when he hears the words of this curse, that he bless himself in his heart, saying, I shall have peace, though I walk in the stubbornness of my heart, to destroy the moist with the dry.

We can skip Verses 20-28, as they are the penalty phase, and we are not under this covenant…

29 The secret things belong to Yahweh our God; but the things that are revealed belong to us and to our children forever, that we may do all the words of this law.

 

  • We can break that passage down like this:

 

16-17: You have gone through Egypt to LEARN, and over the last 40 years you have seen many cultures to LEARN, because you are accountable for what you KNOW

18-19: You have been allowed to SEE so that you are not deceived. Don’t fool yourself, constantly check yourself

  • 29: WE are RESPONSIBLE FOR REVELATION

 

Notice that this is from God to the people, a covenant with ALL the people, not just the Pastor, not just Moses…

 

  • God’s desire is for us ALL to KNOW HIM, be knowledgeable about Him, and be so attuned to His voice that we can be truly obedient.

Hosea 6:6 For I desired mercy, and not sacrifice; and the knowledge of God more than burnt offerings.

 

How I choose to exercise my freedom affects me, and impacts those around me…

 

  • Freedom. Like the Kingdom (Rom 14:17) is a gift, but it is up to us to maintain it.

 

Our thoughts, words and deeds are the factors that determine or situations, and though grace abounds, many times it is we who, like the Hebrews in the desert, wish to return to the comfortable in times of stress.

 

2 Corinthians 1:18  But as God is true, our word toward you was not yea and nay. 19  For the Son of God, Jesus Christ, who was preached among you by us, even by me and Silvanus and Timotheus, was not yea and nay, but in him was yea. 20  For all the promises of God in him are yea, and in him Amen, unto the glory of God by us. 21  Now he which stablisheth us with you in Christ, and hath anointed us, is God; 22  Who hath also sealed us, and given the earnest of the Spirit in our hearts. 24  Not for that we have dominion over your faith, but are helpers of your joy: for by faith ye stand. (read this in the NIV)

2 Corinthians 3:17  Now the Lord is that Spirit: and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is liberty. 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.

  • Grace is the gift, it is on us to obey…

In the two examples below, the gift was free, the follow-through, and maintenance were the responsibility or the recipient. It is the same for us today

 

John 9:7,11

7, And said unto him, Go, wash in the pool of Siloam, (which is by interpretation, Sent.) He went his way therefore, and washed, and came seeing.  – 11,   He answered and said, A man that is called Jesus made clay, and anointed mine eyes, and said unto me, Go to the pool of Siloam, and wash: and I went and washed, and I received sight.

John 5:4-15

4 For an angel went down at a certain season into the pool, and troubled the water: whosoever then first after the troubling of the water stepped in was made whole of whatsoever disease he had. 5  And a certain man was there, which had an infirmity thirty and eight years.6  When Jesus saw him lie, and knew that he had been now a long time in that case, he saith unto him, Wilt thou be made whole?7  The impotent man answered him, Sir, I have no man, when the water is troubled, to put me into the pool: but while I am coming, another steppeth down before me.8  Jesus saith unto him, Rise, take up thy bed, and walk.9  And immediately the man was made whole, and took up his bed, and walked: and on the same day was the sabbath.10  The Jews therefore said unto him that was cured, It is the sabbath day: it is not lawful for thee to carry thy bed.11  He answered them, He that made me whole, the same said unto me, Take up thy bed, and walk.12  Then asked they him, What man is that which said unto thee, Take up thy bed, and walk?13  And he that was healed wist not who it was: for Jesus had conveyed himself away, a multitude being in that place.14  Afterward Jesus findeth him in the temple, and said unto him, Behold, thou art made whole: sin no more, lest a worse thing come unto thee.15  The man departed, and told the Jews that it was Jesus, which had made him whole.

(11- I know what You say, but the one that healed me said…)

That’s the line to use on your temptations, the line to use on the devil

(I know what You say, but the one that healed me said…)

 

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From The Archives: ‘Prayer: Plain, Purposed and Powerful…’

For the next few weeks, leading up to our 10th anniversary as a church, we’re going to look back on (and post here) some of the more significant things that we’ve studied…

Many of the posts (like the one that follows) is directly from Pastor Jermin’s notes.

RFBC Meeting Notes: 07/27/2008

Our topic this week is Prayer: Plain, Purposed and Powerful

Part One: We will be studying specific Prayers of Jesus

The High Priestly Prayer of Jesus – John 17
The Model Prayer of Jesus (which we call the Lord’s Prayer)  – Matthew 6:9-13, and Luke 11:2-4.

Analysis of the Lord’s Prayer:

9-After this manner therefore pray ye: Our Father which art in heaven, Hallowed be thy name.

9) The acknowledgement of God’s Power, Authority, Position & Holiness

10-Thy kingdom come, Thy will be done in earth, as it is in heaven.

10) Let your Kingdom (Righteousness, Peace & Joy in the Holy Ghost as described in Romans 14:17) come upon me, so that I can do your will here on earth

11-Give us this day our daily bread.

11) Provide for my day to day needs. (This so I can concentrate on you)

12And forgive us our debts, as we forgive our debtors.

12) The tightrope walk: The balance of repentance and forgiveness is where we must stand in order to stay in right relationship with God

13And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil: For thine is the kingdom, and the power, and the glory, for ever. Amen.

13) The first part is perhaps a reference to Psalm 23, in that the Shepherd leads and protects the sheep, and the second points again to the authority and eternal power of the Father

 

How did Jesus Pray?

John 11:41-43 – Lazarus (Confidence)

41  They took therefore the stone away. And Jesus lifting up his eyes, said: Father, I give thee thanks that thou hast heard me. 42  And I knew that thou hearest me always: but because of the people who stand about have I said it, that they may believe that thou hast sent me. 43  When he had said these things, he cried with a loud voice: Lazarus, come forth.

 

John 12:27-30 – Glorify your name (Meekness/Temperance)

27  Now is my soul troubled. And what shall I say? Father, save me from this hour. But for this cause I came unto this hour. 28  Father, glorify thy name. A voice therefore came from heaven: I have both glorified it and will glorify it again.

Luke 22:31-32
31 “Simon, Simon, Satan has asked to sift you as wheat. 32 But I have prayed for you, Simon, that your faith may not fail. And when you have turned back, strengthen your brothers.”

Could Jesus simply have rebuked the devil for Peter’s sake?
Yes, obviously. Then why didn’t he?

v.32 the word translated as for is: περί  / peri /  per-ee’

which means properly: through (all over), that is, around; figuratively with respect to;

Reading that verse again it says: 32 But I have prayed through, all over, and around;  you, Simon, that your faith may not fail.

What did he pray FOR?: That Peter’s Faith not fail…
How did Peter benefit? How did the rest benefit?
The Word converted there is the greek word: ἐπιστρέφω / epistrepho / ep-ee-stref’-o

meaning; to revert (literally, figuratively or morally): – come (go) again, convert, (re-) turn (about, again).

And the word strengthen in the greek is: στηρίζω / stērizo / stay-rid’-zo

To set fast, that is, (literally) to turn resolutely in a certain direction, or (figuratively) to confirm: – fix, (e-) stablish, stedfastly set, strengthen.

What do we glean from this?

What does it mean to be sifted as wheat?

“Simon, Simon, Satan has asked to sift you as wheat.” (22:31)

Has asked, desires to is the Word ἐξαιτέομαι / exaiteomai   / ex-ahee-teh’-om-ahee  which means; to demand (for trial): – desire.

We sift processed flour to fluff it up before baking, but that isn’t the analogy here.

The word “sift” is the Greek word σινιάζω / siniazo / sin-ee-ad’-zo, which means “to sift by shaking in a sieve.” Here, grains of wheat are being sifted, holding back large pieces of foreign matter while letting the wheat through. The ideas of shaking and separating the grain from rubbish are at the forefront of Jesus’ description.

David Allan Hubbard explains, “The figure of sifting was an agricultural one, and its interpretation hinged on a knowledge of how grain was threshed. The sieve … must have been used to separate the kernels of grain from the trash they had mingled with in the threshing: pebbles, twigs, etc. With its large mesh the sieve would allow the farmer to sift the useful kernels into a pot or sack while the strings of the sieve retained the unwanted trash.”

 

Could it be that Jesus let Satan’s plan happen so that instead of destroying Peter, it would in fact purify him?

And what was the trial he had to endure? Could it have been this:  

Luk 22:33-34   – 33 But Peter said to him, “Lord, I’m ready to go to prison with you and to die with you.” 34  Jesus replied, “Peter, I can guarantee that the rooster won’t crow tonight until you say three times that you don’t know me.”

Luk 22:55-62  – 55  And when they had kindled a fire in the midst of the hall and were sitting about it, Peter was in the midst of them. 56  Whom when a certain servant maid had seen sitting at the light and had earnestly beheld him, she said: This man also was with him. 57  But he denied him, saying: Woman, I know him not. 58  And after a little while, another seeing him, said: Thou also art one of them. But Peter said: O man, I am not. 59  And after the space, as it were of one hour, another certain man affirmed, saying: Of a truth, this man was also with him: for he is also a Galilean. 60  And Peter said: Man, I know not what thou sayest. And immediately, as he was yet speaking, the cock crew. 61  And the Lord turning looked on Peter. And Peter remembered the word of the Lord, as he had said: Before the cock crow, thou shalt deny thrice. 62  And Peter going out, wept bitterly.

Imagine not only the conviction, the shame, the guilt, the pain that Peter felt, but then Satan (the accuser) comes in, and there is condemnation and fear…

How did denying Jesus shape him?

Who did he become as a result?  – Read Acts 3

How have your trials shaped you? – Could it be that this is the way that the LORD answers your prayers at times?

 

Hebrews 12: 25-29 – Things that can be shaken…

Heb 12:25  See that you refuse him not that speaketh. For if they escaped not who refused him that spoke upon earth, much more shall not we that turn away from him that speaketh to us from heaven.

26 Whose voice then moved the earth; but now he promiseth, saying: Yet once more: and I will move, not only the earth, but heaven also. 27  And in that he saith: Yet once more, he signifieth the translation of the moveable things as made, that those things may remain which are immoveable. 28  Therefore, receiving an immoveable kingdom, we have grace: whereby let us serve, pleasing God, with fear and reverence. 29  For our God is a consuming fire.

Deut. 4:24 – For the LORD your God is a consuming fire, a jealous God


Part Two: What I would like you to consider and share this Sunday are the following:

What are the most important aspects of prayer?

What types of prayers do you pray?

The Prayers I’ve prayed are:

The I’m sorry (prayer of repentance)

The Gimme, you know, the “Lord I NEED” and the “Lord, You Promised in your Word that”

The Bargainer/Let’s make a deal “Lord if you would do XYZ, I promise I’ll Never…”

The Thank You

A: By faith for what we want ( kind of like the gimme)

B:  The aftermath of the gimme

What types of prayers do you pray?

What are the most important aspects of prayer?
The object – Who are you praying to?
The subject – What are you praying about?

The Attitude – The way in which we approach God (ie boldly, confidently, etc)
Honesty – Pray honestly, pray sincerely
Listen- Prayer is after all, a 2 way endeavor

How has your prayer life changed over the past 5 years (if at all)?
What are the benefits/challenges of prayer for you?
Any suggestions that work for you re: your ritual (yes we all have them) that would benefit the fellowship
 

The Option you choose makes ALL the difference

 We as a culture value our opinions over the truth. That is because we are taught that truth is in fact relative, and subjective. The problem is that when this ideology is applied to the scripture, mayhem ensues, because the Word of God is just what it is: The Word of God, and when we run into things which are uncomfortable or in disagreement with our held views, we have three options:

a)    Bring our views in line with, and bow to, the Scripture
b)    Ignore the passage
c)    Change its meaning

The Option you choose makes ALL the difference.

Is your soul worth your momentary pleasure or comfort?

pastor.ctj

There is Rest in Release

From the Repairer’s Fellowship Service Notes from 2011, seems pertinent right now:

One of the reasons that the people of His day missed/couldn’t receive Jesus was that they didn’t know where the Battlefield was, or who the real enemy was.  They were looking at Rome, they were looking at their freedom from Rome as true liberation.

Much like today, people are looking for whatever nonsense is forefront in the media, when the real battlefield is elsewhere.

But we know where the real battlefield is:

Ephesians 6:10-18 – Finally, my brethren, be strong in the Lord, and in the power of his might. Put on the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil. For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places. Wherefore take unto you the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand. Stand therefore, having your loins girt about with truth, and having on the breastplate of righteousness; And your feet shod with the preparation of the gospel of peace; Above all, taking the shield of faith, wherewith ye shall be able to quench all the fiery darts of the wicked. And take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God: Praying always with all prayer and supplication in the Spirit, and watching thereunto with all perseverance and supplication for all saints; (Eph 6:10-18)

A Jewish colleague of mine asked me this week, how it could be that the people of Israel for the most part stayed together during the Exodus. I explained the concept of the ‘galvanizing them’ or ‘galvanizing other’

Often what unites a people is having a common enemy, a ‘them’. One of the reasons that our country is in such turmoil is that there is no galvanizing ‘them’. The pressure exerted from without, forces the compressed to become stronger, closer, more resilient, and unified. We see this in the natural with diamonds, in the Flesh with wars. We see this played out in our various arenas, (sports, politics, religion, family)

What do we understand? We have a ‘galvanizing them’.

I – Satan

1 Peter 5:6-11 – Humble yourselves therefore under the mighty hand of God, that he may exalt you in due time: Casting all your care upon him; for he careth for you. Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil, as a roaring lion, walketh about, seeking whom he may devour: Whom resist stedfast in the faith, knowing that the same afflictions are accomplished in your brethren that are in the world. But the God of all grace, who hath called us unto his eternal glory by Christ Jesus, after that ye have suffered a while, make you perfect, stablish, strengthen, settle you. To him be glory and dominion for ever and ever. Amen.

Revelation 12: 10-11 – And I heard a loud voice saying in heaven, Now is come salvation, and strength, and the kingdom of our God, and the power of his Christ: for the accuser of our brethren is cast down, which accused them before our God day and night. And they overcame him by the blood of the Lamb, and by the word of their testimony; and they loved not their lives unto the death. (The blood is the substitutionary atonement, which makes us not guilty in the eyes of the Father, the sacrificial love, and word of our testimony is what identifies to one another and to the world)

(see John 13:34-35, Acts 2:42-47, etc)

II – Sin – Romans 7 (whole Chapter)

How do we overcome?

  1. The blood of the Lamb
  2. The word of our testimony
  3. The whole armor of God
  4. Putting the things of God above the things that we prize the most.

But the Bible is full of paradoxes like this:

*lose to gain*

Luke 9:18-27 – And it came to pass, as he was alone praying, his disciples were with him: and he asked them, saying, Whom say the people that I am? They answering said, John the Baptist; but some say, Elias; and others say, that one of the old prophets is risen again. He said unto them, But whom say ye that I am? Peter answering said, The Christ of God. And he straitly charged them, and commanded them to tell no man that thing; Saying, The Son of man must suffer many things, and be rejected of the elders and chief priests and scribes, and be slain, and be raised the third day. And he said to them all, If any man will come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross daily, and follow me. For whosoever will save his life shall lose it: but whosoever will lose his life for my sake, the same shall save it. For what is a man advantaged, if he gain the whole world, and lose himself, or be cast away? For whosoever shall be ashamed of me and of my words, of him shall the Son of man be ashamed, when he shall come in his own glory, and in his Father’s, and of the holy angels. But I tell you of a truth, there be some standing here, which shall not taste of death, till they see the kingdom of God.

*I live, yet not I *

1st Corinthians 15: 9-10 –  For I am the least of the apostles, that am not meet to be called an apostle, because I persecuted the church of God.  (10)  But by the grace of God I am what I am: and his grace which was bestowed upon me was not in vain; but I laboured more abundantly than they all: yet not I, but the grace of God which was with me.

Galatians 2:19-21 – For I through the law am dead to the law, that I might live unto God.  (20)  I am crucified with Christ: nevertheless I live; yet not I, but Christ liveth in me: and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by the faith of the Son of God, who loved me, and gave himself for me.  (21)  I do not frustrate the grace of God: for if righteousness come by the law, then Christ is dead in vain.

*The things which we do, which we believe are for the bettering of our lives,, often in actuality, are a waste of time and energy, and are spending our lives…

Luke 12:16-34

*When pain can’t be released it is shared and if it is not shared, it is spread.*

Romans 15:1-2 – We then that are strong ought to bear the infirmities of the weak, and not to please ourselves.  Let every one of us please his neighbour for his good to edification.

*We are to share (bear one another’s burdens)*

Galatians 6:1-10 –  Brethren, if a man be overtaken in a fault, ye which are spiritual, restore such an one in the spirit of meekness; considering thyself, lest thou also be tempted.  (2)  Bear ye one another’s burdens, and so fulfil the law of Christ.  (3)  For if a man think himself to be something, when he is nothing, he deceiveth himself.  (4)  But let every man prove his own work, and then shall he have rejoicing in himself alone, and not in another.  (5)  For every man shall bear his own burden.  (6)  Let him that is taught in the word communicate unto him that teacheth in all good things.  (7)  Be not deceived; God is not mocked: for whatsoever a man soweth, that shall he also reap.  (8)  For he that soweth to his flesh shall of the flesh reap corruption; but he that soweth to the Spirit shall of the Spirit reap life everlasting.  (9)  And let us not be weary in well doing: for in due season we shall reap, if we faint not.  (10)  As we have therefore opportunity, let us do good unto all men, especially unto them who are of the household of faith.

This is after all, the example of Christ

Isaiah 53:4-6 – Surely he hath borne our griefs, and carried our sorrows: yet we did esteem him stricken, smitten of God, and afflicted.  (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.  (6)  All we like sheep have gone astray; we have turned every one to his own way; and the LORD hath laid on him the iniquity of us all.

We have to let go, if we’re going to grow – and we cannot be the body of Christ until we are ready/willing to let go…

Fulfillment in life comes from the letting go, not the grabbing. 

In Closing, this:

Matthew 6:19-34

19 “Don’t store up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy and where thieves break in and steal. 20 But store up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust destroys, and where thieves don’t break in and steal. 21 For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.

22 “The eye is the lamp of the body. If your eye is healthy, your whole body will be full of light. 23 But if your eye is bad, your whole body will be full of darkness. So if the light within you is darkness, how deep is that darkness!

24 “No one can serve two masters, since either he will hate one and love the other, or he will be devoted to one and despise the other. You cannot serve both God and money.

The Cure for Anxiety

25 “Therefore I tell you: Don’t worry about your life, what you will eat or what you will drink; or about your body, what you will wear. Isn’t life more than food and the body more than clothing? 26 Consider the birds of the sky: They don’t sow or reap or gather into barns, yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Aren’t you worth more than they? 27 Can any of you add one moment to his life-span by worrying? 28 And why do you worry about clothes? Observe how the wildflowers of the field grow: They don’t labor or spin thread. 29 Yet I tell you that not even Solomon in all his splendor was adorned like one of these. 30 If that’s how God clothes the grass of the field, which is here today and thrown into the furnace tomorrow, won’t he do much more for you—you of little faith? 31 So don’t worry, saying, ‘What will we eat?’ or ‘What will we drink?’ or ‘What will we wear?’ 32 For the Gentiles eagerly seek all these things, and your heavenly Father knows that you need them. 33 But seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things will be provided for you. 34 Therefore don’t worry about tomorrow, because tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own.” – Jesus The Christ

A conversation with a brother about healing (and other issues)

I found a conversation between a brother and I which took place in 2011. I found it useful, and I pray that you will too.

SDG

  • Sun, May 15, 2011 at 12:36 PM

Subject: Just following up…

Hey Bro
As you asked, M and I did indeed pray for you and yours. We also lifted up your church search..
A suggestion that I can make is EPC, I am not sure if you have heard of them. (redacted) is the Pastor there.
I only know of them that they are Reformed, and he is an Author that I like. The church’s website is here:
(redacted) and Please know that you are ALWAYS welcome to join us via Skype or by phone for our time of Fellowship…
We start at 2:30 Every Sunday, and we also do a Bible Study by Phone
Mon-Wed at 9 pm
Much Love
C

 

  • Sun, May 15, 2011 at 5:28 PM

Thanks C. I did try EPC and while I loved the people, I did not join because they do not believe that healing is for all believers and they perceive natural disasters as punishment / judgment from God.
Thanks as well for your invite for church and Bible study. I am interested in the Bible study. Can I call in or do I need Skype?
Thanks

  •  Sun, May 15, 2011 at 6:11 PM

Hey Bro
I did not know that they flowed that way. I have a question for you…
How are they wrong? Is (physical) healing in fact for all believers?
Where is this in the scripture? Not trying at all to give you a hard time, but I would sincerely like to know.
re: The Bible Study, You do not need Skype,  the phone line is sufficient,
Peace
C

 

  • Sun, May 15, 2011 at 9:19 PM

C – You already know that the broken body is for our healing and the shed blood is for the remission of sins. We often part and parcel God’s promise because we don’t see it in our own lives. I may call in to a Bible study.
Thanks Bro
Love you

  • Sun, May 15, 2011 at 9:57 PM

J
I am asking a specific question, because I have a lady who is a part of our group who is quite ill, and she is ‘believing God’ for her healing. The trouble is that she is not getting better, and as such her faith has begun to wane. She now thinks that God has forsaken her, because she is not getting better, and that He no longer hears her prayers. What do I tell her, brother? That healing is promised to everyone but her? Or perhaps that she does not have enough faith to be healed? What do I say?

Personally, I am of the belief that Isaiah 53 is about the reconciliation between God and man, that is the healing that he writes of. It is not about physical healing.
I understand that the prevailing thought is that we are to ‘walk in divine health’ but the reality is that we die, Pastor JK. We get sick, we sometimes suffer and we all die.

Why would Paul say that God told him no? Why would He do that? Is it perhaps that His sovereignty is the main thing? He told him that his GRACE was sufficient for him…
Why would He tell Moses that He chooses who He will have mercy on? If healing is for EVERY believer?
There are those whom He heals instantly, those whom it is given to after a time of illness, and others for whom it is not His will that they be healed.
Romans 8 is clear that we are promised God’s presence in the midst of sickness and all other manner of trial. His presence, brother. He does not promise to take it away, He promises never to Leave us…
I have told her this, but she will not hear.

So I am asking you to provide for me scriptural proof that God promises physical healing to EVERY Christian.

Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or peril, or sword? As it is written, For thy sake we are killed all the day long; we are accounted as sheep for the slaughter. Nay, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him that loved us. For I am persuaded, that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor powers, nor things present, nor things to come, Nor height, nor depth, nor any other creature, shall be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.  – (Rom 8:35-39)

I appreciate your thoughts on this, man. If I have it wrong, please correct your brother.
Thanks
C

 

  • Mon, May 16, 2011 at 9:25 AM

Hi C,

I perceive the pressure you feel as a shepherd to your flock. (I prayed for our Father to comfort and lead you in all truth).

Whenever I face questions like this I usually go back to the Gospels to look at what Christ modeled since Christ is ultimately what God wants us to become. Jesus has never turned anyone away who wanted healing but rather healed them all. Jesus said He did only what He saw the Father doing therefore we can conclude the Father is in the healing ministry. Also in the book of Deuteronomy sickness is a curse and health is a blessing. We also know that sickness is a result of sin and so is death. Well, Christ bore the sin and sickness since he was the last Adam and therefore we are free from the consequence of sin which is sickness and death. We know that we will experience the final victory over death upon His return.

I urge you to use this situation to press into the throne room of God and experience His face. If Jesus was there among you and your church members would she be still sick?….no! Therefore press into worship. You and the elders must lay hands on her and speak to the mountain to be removed and do it over and over and over and over and over again (like Elijah). Also tell this woman to speak to her mountain consistently and rebuke it and cast it out. Also there must not be any unforgiveness, jealousy, slander, bitterness or malice among you. Confess your sins to one another!

Heavenly Father, your Kingdom come, Your will be done on earth as it is in heaven, we know Father that there are no wheel chairs, medicine, or doctors in heaven because Jesus paid it  ALL. We thank you that we are healed by your stripes and we give you ALL the glory and ALL the honor. I know Lord that C’s heart is moved with compassion for Your flock just like You are. I pray that you anoint him with more power from on high to give You more glory in this earth. Holy Spirit help this local body to press in even more in worship for You delight in it and when presence is here there is healing in Your wings. Spur us on Holy Spirit…..
In the matchless name of Jesus we pray.

Amen

 

  • Tue, May 17, 2011 at 12:54 AM

J
First off, thank you for taking the time to write me back. I really appreciate it, and I appreciate your going to the throne on our behalf.

Regarding you comment that, “Christ is ultimately what God wants us to become”. I agree that we shall ultimately be like Him. The scripture is plain…

Behold, what manner of love the Father hath bestowed upon us, that we should be called the sons of God: therefore the world knoweth us not, because it knew him not. Beloved, now are we the sons of God, and it doth not yet appear what we shall be: but we know that, when he shall appear, we shall be like him; for we shall see him as he is.  – (1John 3:1-2)

Notice that it is future tense; we shall be, when He shall appear. Shall be, is not now.

I would also ask that you read John Chapter 5 in context, re: the comment that Jesus only did what He saw His Father do. You may come away with a different understanding as to what He was talking about. It wasn’t the healing, it was the perceived transgression of the Law. The Father transcends the Law, so does the Son, and I believe that was His point…

I looked up your assertion that according to Deuteronomy sickness is a curse. I found that according to Deuteronomy 28, it is indeed a curse, and it is YHWH that is letting Israel know that should they disobey him, they will be cursed by HIM with sickness, and a host of other calamities.
It begins with verse 15 which says:

But it shall come to pass, if thou wilt not hearken unto the voice of the LORD thy God, to observe to do all his commandments and his statutes which I command thee this day; that all these curses shall come upon thee, and overtake thee:  – (Deu 28:15 KJV)

And it ends with this:

And the LORD shall scatter thee among all people, from the one end of the earth even unto the other; and there thou shalt serve other gods, which neither thou nor thy fathers have known, even wood and stone. And among these nations shalt thou find no ease, neither shall the sole of thy foot have rest: but the LORD shall give thee there a trembling heart, and failing of eyes, and sorrow of mind: And thy life shall hang in doubt before thee; and thou shalt fear day and night, and shalt have none assurance of thy life: In the morning thou shalt say, Would God it were even! and at even thou shalt say, Would God it were morning! for the fear of thine heart wherewith thou shalt fear, and for the sight of thine eyes which thou shalt see. And the LORD shall bring thee into Egypt again with ships, by the way whereof I spake unto thee, Thou shalt see it no more again: and there ye shall be sold unto your enemies for bondmen and bondwomen, and no man shall buy you.  – (Deu 28:64-68 KJV)

Here is where I have a problem, bro. Actually a couple of problems

1) The curses described here are God’s promise to that people, and were quite specific. How do we handle then, verses 64-68 in context? Is this happening now? In fact, I would ask that you read the entire Chapter (and the preceding one) in context, and tell me if you can still draw the same conclusion..

2) If you can, then I must ask this: Using this reference then, and by extension the logic, I must glean from this that I am to tell this woman that she is in sin, and God is cursing her. This is the cause of her affliction unto death. How can she therefore ‘rebuke and cast out’ the very illness that YHWH Himself has afflicted her with because of her sin?
I should also tell my cousin who is in her 3rd bout with breast cancer, (which has also affected both lungs and her brain) that the God she loves, serves and worships faithfully is in fact afflicting her because of sin…
And what of Zac, whose video I have linked below, who went to be with the LORD a year ago today, leaving a young widow, and 3 young children… He is dead because he sinned.
http://www.godvine.com/Man-Dying-of-Cancer-Leaves-Behind-an-Unforgettable-Video-258.html

How then is this any different than EPC saying that natural disasters are punishment/judgment? It seems much the same to me…

3) Additionally, are you saying that God curses people, but we can, by obeying the Law get Him to lift the curse that HE has placed on us? That must be what you are saying, because if our cursing and disease and are the result of sin, then we must also accept the fact that it is our works of obedience that heal us. After all, verse 1 of the same Chapter says this:  And it shall come to pass, if thou shalt hearken diligently unto the voice of the LORD thy God, to observe and to do all his commandments which I command thee this day, that the LORD thy God will set thee on high above all nations of the earth:  – (Deu 28:1) A list of blessings follows.
If this is true, then there was no need for Jesus to come, because we can obey and keep the Law ourselves…

4) Why do believers die then brother? If sickness is the result of a curse from God, yet Jesus came to make us all well, then does it not make God a trifle arbitrary and capricious?

5) On that note, using Deut 28 as a launching pad, can we not also then make the assumption that Jesus was healing people to in fact, prove Himself to be the antidote, to in effect, reverse the curse? Could it be that the purpose of His healings was to prove His deity, Prove his power and His authority to the ones to whom He was sent? To show them that as He said, the Son of man was the Lord of the Sabbath and the Law (Matthew 12:8-13),
When He spoke to the people during the sermon on the mount and said this:
Do not think that I have come to abolish the Law or the Prophets; I have not come to abolish them but to fulfill them. I tell you the truth, until heaven and earth disappear, not the smallest letter, not the least stroke of a pen, will by any means disappear from the Law until everything is accomplished” (Matthew 5:17-18).
On the excellent website www.gotquestions.org we find this re: the fulfillment of the law:
“Christ fulfilled the demands of the Mosaic law, which called for perfect obedience under threat of a “curse” (see Galatians 3:10, 13). In this sense, the law’s divine design will ever have an abiding effect. It will always accomplish the purpose for which it was given. If, however, the law of Moses bears the same relationship to men today, in terms of its binding status, then it was not fulfilled, and Jesus failed at what He came to do.”
Keep in mind bro, that EVERY one of the people that Jesus healed, died. I say that with almost complete certainty. Even Lazarus, and the little girl raised from the dead, died again. So unless Jesus failed in His mission, (and we know that He did not) , the death that He went to the cross to save us from was the Eternal death of separation from God. And the stripes that whereby we are healed were for our permanent (Spiritual) not temporary (temporal) healing.

6) Is not physical death the natural ordered result of physical life? Am I not to expect that no matter how I pray, praise, and worship, I will  (unless the rapture comes) have to experience physical death in order to experience eternal life?

7) Do I believe that God heals? Of Course. I am aware however, that it is not my prayers, decrees or declaration, but his will, and His Mercy. Paul who asked and was told no, says this in his letter to the church at Phillippi: Phil 2:  25 But I think it is necessary to send back to you Epaphroditus, my brother, co-worker and fellow soldier, who is also your messenger, whom you sent to take care of my needs. 26 For he longs for all of you and is distressed because you heard he was ill. 27 Indeed he was ill, and almost died. But God had mercy on him, and not on him only but also on me, to spare me sorrow upon sorrow. 

Paul says that  God had mercy on him, brother

8) I have to reiterate, bro, that by your logic, there is no need for Romans 8:35-39. In theory we should all live in perfect health forever. We both know that this is not the case. We age, we change, this mortal coil wears down, and we go. But maybe I see it a little more clearly than you do, as I can see 50  just few months away, and am discovering new aches and pains as I go… LOL!

Please read Romans 8 completely bro, and notice that Paul is writing to believers, and he is not speaking of sin, or to sinners. Remember that the chapter begins with this wonderful declaration:

There is therefore now no condemnation to them which are in Christ Jesus, who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit. For the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus hath made me free from the law of sin and death. For what the law could not do, in that it was weak through the flesh, God sending his own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh, and for sin, condemned sin in the flesh: That the righteousness of the law might be fulfilled in us, who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit.  – (Rom 8:1-4 KJV)    

So since this is true, if sickness is a curse, and a curse from God because of sin and disobedience, why can this promise be made?
Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or peril, or sword? As it is written, For thy sake we are killed all the day long; we are accounted as sheep for the slaughter. Nay, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him that loved us. For I am persuaded, that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor powers, nor things present, nor things to come, Nor height, nor depth, nor any other creature, shall be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.  – (Rom 8:35-39)

I am most happy for this discussion, and look forward to your reply.
Peace & Love
C

The conversation ended there… Your thoughts/opinions are welcomed, fam.

What sayest thou?

Why post about Eddie Long after his death?

A brother asked me this week, the following questions:

“… you have been posting a lot of stuff about Eddie Long. Why and what is the reason? The man is dead and buried now.”

I responded:

Sorry that it took me so long to respond bro. I was not ignoring your comment/query.

Though seemingly a simple question, it is a layered one. As such it requires a tiered response. My attempt follows:

  • We are required to walk in Truth, and there is a paucity of that in the modern ‘church’, especially when it comes to our ‘leaders’. The man may be dead and buried, but his legacy (positive and negative) live on. As such, I am resistant to the idea that because he is dead, we must ignore the carnage that the man left, and focus solely on the good that he did. It does a HUGE disservice to those who have been harmed, and to that which calls itself ‘church’.
  • I am a Pastor, and I am always painfully aware of my shortcomings and failures. It is clear always to me that I am a recipient of a great GRACE. That said, we tend to in the ‘church’, especially in the organizations that employ what is called ‘The Great man Model’, elevate our pastors to near sainthood if not outright deification. That is IDOLATRY plain and simple.
  • The Bible is clear that there is only ONE man who lived His entire life without sin. The rest, even the great ones, achieved despite or in the face of, their sin, and we are told about their sin as a reminder and an encouragement. How dare we discuss people today as though they have no sin?
  • I knew the man. We were a part of the same organization for several years, in fact we for a time, referred to the same man as spiritual father. The man that I knew was humble, self-effacing, and willing to be clear about the pain of his childhood, and the scars that he bore. But it was clear even then, that there was an underlying issue when it came to the question of sexual sin. The truth is that; issues which are not addressed, not resolved, though they may reside below the surface or in a closet, will erupt, or the door will open. When they do, especially in these type or organizational systems that focus on ‘The Great man’ as the engine, measures of deceit or cover up must be employed in order to keep the machine rolling. This involves other people in the sin.
  • For us who are, as the Bible says, Elders, Pastors, we are to be beyond reproach (1Tim 3:2) this does not mean without sin, but it does mean that repetitive, consistent, habitual sin is a disqualifier. The Bishop because of this behavior, and because of the errant doctrines that he was teaching (which we can discuss at another time) was disqualified.

I hope that this was not too long… God Bless you bro.

SDG