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Posts Tagged ‘healing’

Our Ekklesia has been studying the seven signs of the Messiah recorded in the book of John, and I’ve written several posts regarding this, based on my meditations on scripture and what I believe Jesus has said to me regarding them.ย  Here are the links:

Light Breaks Through

The Light of Men

Blind Eyes Seeing and Seeing Eyes Blind

Hearing the Shepherd’s Voice

Light for this Generation

The last one I haven’t published here to this site. It (and all the others as well) is on my brand new site, which you can access at http://www.journeyintotheson.com/. I hope to see all of you there.

Love in Him, Cindy

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And the Life was the Light of Men

In Him was life; and the life was the light of men. God equates life with light. We see only the symbols of these forces; life and light, but God, who knows all things, has chosen to reveal them to us through His Son. If you haven’t read my last post, please take the time to check it out so you’ll have a foundation to understand this one better. God wasn’t done talking to me about the subject of light and the meaning of theย  miracle Jesus performed when He healed the man blind from birth. Here’s what I received from Him a few days later:

Stay under My pavilion. You will still feel the weather, but I will keep the worst of it off you. My church that is founded on Me will not/cannot be shaken. If anything can be shaken, let it go. It is not of Me. I know how to keep My own, and I know how to purify My house. Some may go out and come back in, yet others will remain within. He who goes out will suffer because of it, but will not be lost. Some, however, who are not of you, will be shaken out, and they will not come back. I have the words of eternal life, and that is precisely what they are avoiding.

The light exposes that which they are unwilling to let go, yet which they need to leave behind. In the shadows, they can and do hide those things they know will not and cannot be approved. They can pretend they are citizens of the Kingdom, benefit from its fellowship, prestige, make themselves feel they are accepted in the beloved–all while maintaining the laws of their native land in their hearts.

That is why I said that, as the light of the world, I came to make blind eyes see and seeing eyes blind. It is not enough to say, “I see” whilst keeping your eyes tight shut. Open your eyes. You will see things you don’t like–things that shame you. Yet you must open them if there is ever to be a deliverance for you from darkness. It has been given to Me to have life in Myself, and that life is the light of men. You have no life of your own. What you have that you so desperately cling to is a mere image–like a photograph–of life. If you have a desire, as you behold that image–a desire for more–a deep longing–know that is Me you desire and long for, for I am life.

More later . . .

Blessings, Cindy

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Light Breaks Through

Jesus’ day at the temple started with a bunch of Pharisees wanting to stone a woman caught in the act of adultery. I can only assume her male consort ran faster than she did, since Moses commanded both to be stoned–but never mind that. It wasn’t enough that Jesus spoiled the party by refusing to cooperate. He then proceeded to needle and irritate the Jews who hadn’t left in shame after the would-be stoning incident. And as if that were insufficient, He topped it all off by as much as saying that He was God. It was too much. The law dogs would have their stoning, and it was Jesus they were aiming for. But He “hid Himself and went out of the Temple, going through the midst of them.” My interpretation: He walked right out through the middle of the crowd of angry Pharisees and they didn’t even see Him go.

As Jesus passed by, He saw a man who had been blind since birth. You might think, given the situation, that Jesus would be in a bit of a rush to get back to the Mount of Olives, but no. He made some cryptic remarks to His disciples about working in the daytime, then proceeded to violate the Sabbath, as was His custom. He made clay. Making clay on the Sabbath was specifically forbidden because everyone (particularly me) knows that making clay is hard work. But Jesus just spat on the ground and mixed up a batch of clay anyhow and rubbed onto the blind man’s eyes. I’m going to make you read the rest of the story for yourselves. Of course you know the blind man is healed and the Pharisees are ticked about the clay, but go ahead and read it here anyhow so you’ll know everything that’s going on.

This is what I believe God said to me about this sign:

This sign says more about Me than all the other signs so far. By light, all is revealed and made manifest. Without light, you may as well be born blind, for though you have the facility to do it, you see nothing without light. This is the light that came into the world: The Father in Me. Without the Father and the Son, there is no Spirit–there can be no light. Light, the light you see around you, is just a picture, an image of the Holy Spirit–only slow and dingy compared to the Spirit–but for now, this image is the most you can bear to see.

Imagine if I were to suddenly reveal Myself as I truly am to the world. Those blind for lack of light will see, and those groping around in the dark with their eyes tight shut will be blind still–though they will deny it, for in their experience, nothing has changed. Thus the “seeing” will be made blind–that is, everyone will now realize their blindness–everyone save themselves.

You made the mistake of seeking Me in the pathways of logic, though the logic was fatally flawed in that it was earthly, sensual, devilish. You who seek Me in these places find cobwebs, dust, and drought. This is a dry and thirsty place where no water flows. Get out of there lest you choke to death on the dust, become entangled in the webs, and shrivel up for lack of water. This is not My place of learning, but only a place for the dead. Soon I will penetrate it with light and rescue those captives who truly seek Me.

For judgment I came–that those who say, “We see” may be shown as they are, that is to say, blind. And those who were blind but knew it, those who love the light at its appearing, may no longer stumble, but walk by the light of life.

I came to bring light to a land of great darkness that those who see the light, and love the light, may be saved from the night, turn from death, and walk in the day.

As with all of these signs, I’ve found it a battle to listen to God regarding this. I can only conclude that where there’s battle, there’s a victory to be won; a mystery to be uncovered; a stronghold to be vanquished. In ourselves we are nothing, but in Him, we are always victorious–provided we don’t surrender. More in a couple of days, so stay tuned. ๐Ÿ˜‰

Blessings, Cindy

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In our ekklesia we’ve been meditating on the signs Jesus performed, which the apostle John describes in his gospel. John describes only seven signs–and he calls them signs rather than miracles. Signs tell us something, so what was John trying to say by the particular signs he chose? The past couple of weeks we’ve been looking at the healing of the cripple at the Pool of Bethesda. You can find this story in John 5, and it’s probably a good idea to read the whole chapter as it’s all pertinent to what happened here. I’m sure you know the story, but you should read it. Some of what follows depends on your being familiar with the details of the account for full comprehension. So here’s what I believe I heard God saying to me about this sign over the period of several days.

“Lord, what does this sign say about You”

This sign displays restoration. Do you want to be restored? Are you going to wait for the waters (the masses of people) to move, or will you bi-pass all that and choose to connect directly with Me?

I am here, ready to make you whole. Having been restored to life, would you also be restored to fullness–to wholeness–to full functioning?

I see a picture of His hands reaching back into the past (my past) through me, weaving strands together, healing old wounds, repairing damaged fabric, and even taking to Himself services I’ve done in the flesh, restoring what the locusts have eaten–even in the past.

See? You have been made whole. Don’t go on sinning, but rather come follow Me. My Father is always working, and so am I. I will continue to work in you as you submit to My ministrations. As for you, rest in Me and do those things I give you to do. As you rest in Me, it is no longer you who do the works, but as the Father worked in Me, so I will work in you and you will do, by My power, the works I give you to do–I will always be doing My works in and through you.

This is full functioning–that you live by Me as I live by the Father and so we all live by one Life. We all partake of the one life, and so we are all in one accord to do those things that edify and build up one another in love. I take you unto Myself and you come. We revel in one another’s life and rejoice in one another’s joy. And so is the will of My Father perfectly served in our unity of Spirit and our joy.

Day 2: this is what I sensed Him saying to me:

The pool at Bethesda was a “me first, every man for himself” kind of thing. For one to be blessed, others had to be denied. Whoever could hop into the pool first got the blessing. All eyes were focused on the waters, waiting for a stirring–a ripple. If any small thing touched the water, hearts beat faster. The most afflicted were the least likely to be restored. And yet here I walked around the outer edges seeking someone. This man was the least able, the most needy–he finally knew he could not save himself. He was alive, but not functioning. Depending upon himself, he became helpless and ineffective. No one in My Kingdom lives by his own life. I live by My Father’s life and He lives by Mine–and you also must live by our life in you lest you find yourselves crippled with no hope of ever learning to live in us.

I am He who enlivens your spirit–who makes you glad with joy. I am He who delivers you from inherited death and makes your spirit live. I am He who restores you to full functioning in My body. Without Me you can do nothing but lie by the pool and wish you could get in. But I am He who cleanses, delivers from death and restores you to sonship. I shall bring you into full sonship if you will allow it–if you will but say, “Yes. I want to be made whole.” You have to desire this. It is only for those who want it. How much easier to just lie by the pool and dream languid dreams, never really expecting to be restored to the original grandeur and dignity and relationship I designed you for. I love all those who passively watch, but I offer healing to those who truly long to walk in My life.

I am your deliverer:

    From this world and its joylessness
    From the death you inherited
    From the debility of your race
    From spiritual hunger and thirst
    From the turmoil and trouble of this age
    From blindness and darkness
    From physical death and decay

There was another day after this, and a song. I’ll schedule that to post on Saturday. Meanwhile,

Grace and Peace to you from our Lord Jesus Christ!

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I’m sure there are lots of words from our sibs in the Lord out there, but here are a couple I’ve recently come across, and I’d like to share them with you:

Letter from Jesus to his Beloved, Broken hearted Daughters At Unmerited Grace, by Mwenda. This is the first of Mwenda’s writings I’ve seen. I think it’s amazing, and I look forward to reading more.

The Great Assumption at Milt Rodriguez’s Blog, by Milt (who else?). Whether or not you agree with him, this will challenge some of us, bring grace to others, and probably anger a few. Personally, I think he has a point, though I’m not sure I would have said that a couple of years ago.

Stir the Deep with Me at Stirring the Deep, by Rachel. Rachel has gone to a lot of work to put together this great series of videos. She isn’t finished with them yet. I suggest that if the material is new to you, you take notes and spend some time practicing each one before you go on to the next. This practice has absolutely revolutionized my life and my relationship with Jesus. (Is there a difference between my life and my relationship with Jesus? Less and less, all gratitude and glory to Him.)

New Year’s ReVolution at . . . the centrality and supremacy of Jesus Christ . . . by David D. Flowers. This develops a similar theme to Milt Rodriguez’s post (linked above) only in a somewhat different direction. It’s a reminder that if we have anything–anything at all–as our priority, besides drawing close to Jesus, we are seriously off track.

Condemnation on Birget Whelan, by Birget Whelan. What a ministry to the hurting heart! Not so long ago it was not unusual for me to feel so burdened down and distressed by past sins and my own unworthiness that I must have really irritated God, whose blood I dishonored by my unbelief. It’s not about our unworthiness–it’s about His love.

Not exhaustive (what if it were! It might never end.), and not in any particular order. I hope the Holy Spirit will speak to you through these brothers and sisters as He has to me.

Love, Cindy

UPDATE
I found another one! The Couch of Completion at . . . the centrality and supremacy of Jesus Christ . . . by David D. Flowers. Not a new post, but a much-needed one.

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Concerning spiritual gifts, brothers, I would not have you to be ignorant . . . but how many of us are ignorant on that very subject? Oh, we can run through the list and explain the current conception of exactly what each gift consists of, but what is your gift? Do you know anyone who operates in the gift of wisdom–really operates in it? What about healing? Discerning between spirits?

I’m not talking about the pastor or evangelist at a charismatic church calling out to the audience: “Someone here has a problem with lower back pain.” That is not the gift of knowledge. There’s always going to be someone around with lower back pain. I’m not impressed. Or praying for the dozen or so people who come up with lower back pain and declaring them healed–they have only to confess it and apply the proper dollop of faith. Does anyone reading this think that this sort of “healing” is going to cause their unbelieving friend’s jaw to drop in wonder as he falls to his knees and confesses Jesus is risen and is Lord?

Why do we not see these gifts of the Spirit in manifestation (I mean real manifestation) in the church in the western world to any significant degree? People in charismatic circles work hard pumping their faith up by memorizing and meditating on scriptures such as “By His stripes you have been healed.” (1 Peter 2:24) and other verses ripped from their homes with none of their context brought along to comfort them, but when the sickness comes, the best and most scripture-filled of them often die in that illness. What’s going on?

Somewhere, we have missed the trail ride. The horses and their riders have taken off without us, and they’ve gone in a different direction than we expected, so we’re not even going to catch them when they stop for a picnic. I can exegete this passage, but my questions remain. I have an inkling of the answer (or some of them), but it’s not complete. Let me know what you think. The body of Christ functions best together.

That said, let’s talk about 1 Corinthians 12:1-11. Just click on the link and read along with me. Maybe the Spirit will reveal something to one of us.

Verse 1

Paul is writing by inspiration here, so if Paul doesn’t want us to be uninformed, it follows that God probably doesn’t want us uninformed, either. On that premise, we can trust that He will reveal to us that which we need to know about the subject at hand, to whit, spiritual things or spiritual giftings.

Verse 2

The word dumb here refers to the idols’ inability to speak (or do anything else), not to their dubious intellectual prowess (though that works, too–and I know you knew all that). The point is to contrast the unspeaking, inanimate idol with the active triune God, full of power and speaking through His people. Before the Corinthians became followers of Christ, they just kind of wandered around to whichever idol seemed interesting at the moment–lost, in other words.

Most of us don’t use actual idols any longer (at least in the west and the middle east), but how many people do you know who have some vague idea of spiritual things; an idea they’ve taken from pop culture, their own imaginations, and something someone said to them once? They’re wandering around, trying to find their way, and they’re literally lost.

Verse 3

In this context, one is to assume that the person speaking is speaking truly–not just with their words, but with their lives. No one can say, and truly say, that Jesus is his Lord except by the Holy Spirit. So anyone who can say this truly, has the Spirit of God.

Likewise, no one can say “Jesus is cursed” so long as the Spirit of God dwells in him. All the unbelieving Jews did say this, as did the unbelieving Gentiles. Jesus had been crucified, and a more shameful, ignominious death could not be imagined. If that’s not cursed, what is? It was certainly not the destiny of the Messiah the Jews had been looking for, and to the Gentiles, this did not look like the destiny of a god.

To sum up (and thanks go to John Wesley for this), Christ followers have the Spirit of God, or else they could not claim Jesus as Lord; Unbelievers do not have the Spirit of God. If they did have the Spirit, they could not declare that Jesus was cursed. Spiritual gifts are for those who have the Spirit–that means Christ followers only. Certainly there are demonic and fleshly manifestations and imitations of these gifts, but the true gifts of the Spirit come only to those who have the Spirit living within themselves.

Verse 4

Whatever spiritual gifts we may receive from God, they all come from the same Holy Spirit. They’re not our own latent abilities, and they’re not from space aliens. The gifts of the Holy Spirit, all of them in all their varieties, are from the Holy Spirit. We don’t choose which gifts we receive, nor do we choose when and how those gifts will manifest (though we can choose to remain silent if it’s inappropriate to speak at the time.) Therefore, we have no grounds for boasting in our own spiritual superiority because we have (or think we have) this or that gift.

Verse 5

God gives us different things to do, but all these various tasks and callings come from Him. One assignment is not better or more prestigious than another in God’s eyes. If you ask your son to wash the dishes, you don’t want him to write the next number-one-Christian-music-chart-topper. You want him to wash the dishes. The best service is the one God told you to do.

If God has called you to do some invisible background ministry–say caring for children in the nursery–you have no reason to feel that you’re less important or loved of God than the biggest star on today’s Christian stage. The same Lord has called us all and will reward us according to our faithfulness, not according to the acclaim we’ve received from men.

Verse 6

Spiritual gifts may be used and manifested in a variety of ways, but it is God who inspires all these variations in gifts. Is Paul hinting that the person being used of God in manifesting the particular gift shouldn’t get too proud of himself? That the Corinthians should keep in mind that God was at the head and could use whomever He chose for whatever purpose and in whatever manner He desired?

Verse 7

The manifestation of the Spirit is given. It isn’t some skill that we practiced night and day for years and now deserve a certain amount of respect for our mastery of. The manifestation of the Spirit is given, and not for the benefit of any one individual. It is given for the benefit of all present. God manifests Himself through us for the good of the whole body (that is, the church).

Verse 8

The gifts are not all given to only one person. God uses the whole congregation to minister to one another. (Or at least, I suppose He would like to.) The utterance of wisdom implies seeing things in a way that we don’t usually see them. The wisdom of God is so simple once we hear it, yet so profound. We can’t develop this kind of wisdom on our own. It comes only from God. James 1:5 says that God gives wisdom to everyone who asks, so this gift of wisdom must be a separate and special manifestation over and above the common wisdom available to all believers.

The utterance of knowledge refers to the Spirit imparting knowledge we have no other way of obtaining. God may speak to your heart and tell you that the woman sitting beside you is in need of a friend despite her perfect exterior. I’ve also heard of Him sending a man on a foot-journey for miles through the countryside seeking Bibles, only to arrive just in time to meet another man who was impressed to bring a package of Bibles to a specific place. This is the gift of knowledge. In America, we have e-mail instead. ๐Ÿ˜‰ But of course there are some things you can’t find on the net–really.

Verse 9

God has given to every man the ability to believe, leading to salvation. The faith referred to here is a special, over-the-top faith. It’s a unique spiritual gift. Not something we can develop by memorizing scriptures, though internalizing the Word does develop faith in believers as we learn the will of God and the extent of His love and His power toward us who believe.

Gifts of healing. Again, this is a special gift and we don’t all have it, but certainly some of us should have it if God’s Word is true and if we’re walking in His Spirit. We all know that God heals people gradually and that people heal gradually on their own because of the way God made our bodies to repair themselves. That may be part of the way the gift of healing works, but I believe that God also heals suddenly. The problem with God “using the doctors” is that He doesn’t really get credit for what He’s done from most people. They hear about the extensive medical treatment and how God healed my shattered arm through surgery and physical therapy (and that’s fine, and thank God for doctors and nurses and med techs and all) and we think, “Yeah. God healed her all right. I’m so impressed.” All healing, and every other good thing, comes from God, but I think the gift of healing is a supernatural gift and as such goes beyond natural forms of healing into something we can’t explain with our limited scientific knowledge. What do you think?

Verse 10

Working of miracles . . . ditto what I said about healing. As an aside, restoring an amputated or severely mangled arm would fall into this category, while mending a broken arm would be a gift of healing.

Prophecy . . . this may mean prediction of the future, and sometimes it does mean this. However, prophecy isn’t only predictions. Prophecy also means giving an inspired exhortation, usually to God’s people.

The ability to distinguish between spirits . . . remember earlier how Paul said no one speaking by the Spirit of God can say Jesus is cursed, etc? Obviously this isn’t as simple as mere words, but if you don’t know the person’s life, how can you tell whether he’s lying? Some people are really good at lying.

All Christians have the ability to “test the spirits” (1 John 4:1). I remember long ago seeing a well-known televangelist’s show playing in a patient’s room when I was working as an RN. I watched for a few minutes and though he didn’t say anything heretical, I got an immediate red light in my spirit–a genuinely creepy, appalled feeling about him. It was the first time (and the only time) I had seen him perform. A year or two later, he was in jail, and he wasn’t exactly imprisoned for preaching the gospel.

This ability to distinguish between spirits as a special gift of the Spirit and not a general empowering of all believers hasn’t been talked about a lot, and I’m not sure what the difference between this and the above would be. It’s listing here does imply some distinction from the 1 John 4:1 testing of the spirits, though. Any ideas?

Various kinds of tongues . . . If you’ve had anything to do with the charismatic church, you know it recognizes at least three distinct manifestations of the gift of speaking in unknown languages.

  1. Speaking in a language not only unknown to the speaker, but likewise unknown to anyone else except God and perhaps the angels.
  2. Speaking in a human language which the speaker has not learned, but which is understandable to a natural speaker of that language.
  3. Speaking in an unknown language with the understanding that someone nearby will be able to interpret it.

And that ties in with the last gift mentioned here: Interpretation of tongues. If an exhortation or message is given by a member of the congregation in an unknown language (as in #3 above), Paul warns that an interpreter must be present and must give an interpretation so that everyone present can understand what was said. This doesn’t usually mean someone who speaks the unknown language as his natural tongue, but rather someone to whom God gives the interpretation supernaturally.

Verse 11

Again, Paul emphasizes that all spiritual gifts come from God via the Holy Spirit. We can neither legitimately boast of our gifts, nor look down on others who have gifts we consider to be inferior to our own. The Corinthians were proud of the spiritual giftings they had received and saw them as a sign of their own superior spirituality. This is a natural reaction and something we always have to guard against in all things. I think maybe pride is the devil’s chief weapon against us.

So why don’t we see these gifts more in action in the church today? Could it be the way we have our meetings set up with one person or one group of people up on stage and the rest of the church sitting out in the audience being properly quiet and attentive? Or maybe it’s because we have so many other resources to depend on–resources that we can see and touch–that we don’t turn to God as our first and only answer. Or could it be that God is being merciful to a church that has become so self-centered and consumer oriented that we couldn’t handle it if He did miracles by our hands?

I want to see the gifts working today, and I don’t believe that God has changed His mind about the way He chooses to work among men. What do you think? What do we need to change in order to see God’s working in our lives in a way that will minister to the body, help us to mature as believers, and, incidentally, also get the attention of the lost and dying who wander from one half-baked spirituality to another in search of the truth? What will it take? Are we willing to pay the price?

Grace and Peace,

Cindy

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I found this link on Harry Gaylord’s blog, Sun and Shield, which is on my blog roll. You need to check this out while it’s still available, as it’s a TV news story and likely to be superceded soon. Well worth seeing.

God Bless,

Cindy

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